Paramnesia- “Paramnesia”

Paramnesia

It was about this time last year when I first became familiar with French black metal act Paramnesia. They sent me the files for their magnificent release, Ce Que Dit La Bouche D’Ombre, which ultimately became one of my favorite albums of 2013 and still is an album which I visit frequently. When it came to my attention that these fellows had another release under their belts, this time a self-titled album, I knew I had a real treat on my hands. As with last year’s release, these two tracks continue in numerical order, starting with “IV” (as “III” belongs to a recently released split with UNRU, which is also an incredible, worthwhile release), allowing the music to do the speaking, as it were.

With each song stretching just past the twenty minute mark, this is not an album to be taken lightly, nor should one consider it background music. I played this while cooking dinner once, which was enjoyable but I’ll admit that the weight of this album was almost entirely lost on me due to my lack of focus. I strongly urge my readers to either listen through a great sound system or through headphones, as the presence of the listener will greatly impact the depth of this experience, and Paramnesia is an album worth fully experiencing.

“IV” opens with tones that are soft, yet somehow ominous, before diving headfirst into a barrage of glory that shows last year’s promise of strong USBM influences (especially from the likes of Ash Borer or Yellow Eyes) has been fulfilled. The melodic riffing verges more towards textures than actual strum patterns, creating a tapestry of beauty and ferocity so dense it’s nearly suffocating. While this is on the more harmonious side of the black metal spectrum, by no means is this a mellow or even welcoming affair. There are hints of post-black majesty and beauty, but Paramnesia’s approach borders on relentless, due in great part to drums that, when not blasting, are still exploding outward rapidly. My favorite moment comes just around the six minute mark, as the guitars hum in an almost angelic way while shrieks and howls ring out over a perfectly timed blast beat all before dropping out a mere minute later in one of the album’s rare mid-paced segments. This isn’t necessarily rewriting the rules for black metal, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a perfect example of the genre’s strengths. Counterpart “V” spirals in with an even greater urgency, if such a thing is possible. It takes nearly two minutes to get started, but once the song takes hold, it’s both painful and beautiful in every way one would want. After a year of listening to this band obsessively, this is the song that captivates me above all else. I could say so much about this song, but if you have the time, I really urge you to just sit with this song and take it all in over the course of a few serious listens.

Copies of this album can be purchased from Les Acteurs de L’Ombre on both CD & LP, along with shirts and pins featuring art by Business for Satan. Don’t miss out on this, as it’s sure to be another top pick for me, and possibly you.