Pensées Nocturnes: Nom d’une Pipe!

Black metal is arguably the best subgenre to do absolutely weird shit in. The dark, blasphemous nature is a great medium to allow musicians to experiment in scary and bizarre ways.  Bands such as Deathspell Omega, Sigh, Transcending Bizarre?, and Thy Catalfalque dominate with experimentation and pushing the limits of black metal. Pensees Nocturnes is a French band that combines depressive black metal, blues, and neoclassical for an orgy of sounds. Unfortunately, this kind of orgy belongs in the extreme BDSM category.

Technically, Nom d’une Pipe! is Pensees Nocturnes’ fourth album but the third album, Ceci Est Da La Musique, was released online as a fake by Vaerohn, the man behind Pensees Nocturnes, with remixed and rearranged songs from his 2nd album, Grotesque. Anyway, it seems that with every release, Pensees Nocturnes gets weirder and weirder and weirder and not in the combination of multiple genres but as fucking insane Vaerohn sounds. Each album gets more and more chaotic which can be a good thing when executed correctly but in this case, it’s a bit too much. Vacuum and Grotesque were wonderfully visceral yet melancholic but Nom d’une Pipe! is over the line.


The black metal has mostly disappeared but the depressive vocals remain and soon become an excessive amount of whine. Not whine in the sense of Hawthorne Heights in middle school but the typical prolonged semi-screamed, half-committed howl and when layered with his bizarre cleans, it further adds fray into the atmosphere. In past albums, it seems the whines are not as half-assed but perhaps sound so bad on Nom d’une Pipe! because of the lack of cohesion. The guitars are too sporadic in dissonance and generally sound the same throughout.  The production and engineering quality also suffers compared to past albums with less clarity in sound with each instrument. In the past the violence and clarity was well done and turned the overall album into something esoteric and fearsome. Hell, the opening of “Paria” on Grotesque is undeniably frightening and this is in part due to the clarity. The classical sections are the most redeeming element of this album and is incredibly impressive if Vaerohn is responsible for playing each instrument. There are even additions what sounds like an accordion in many songs and surprisingly does well in conjunction with black metal. The drums are also very impressive in technicality and creativity and should not be overlooked.

This hurts to trash a band with such potential but harsh words must be used when an album goes the way of Ole’ Yeller and has to be put down behind the shed.  Nom d’une Pipe! is just a collection of ideas and sounds mashed together with spit and misdirected willpower into creating something not worth your time. As much as this album sucked, don’t let it hold you back from checking out his past works, Vacuum and Grotesque, as they are absolutely worth it, especially if you are into weird as piss black metal. Vaerohn is a fantastic artist but this is just not his finest work… at…all.

Vaerohn (man behind Pensees Nocturnes) Official Facebook

Pensées Nocturnes Unofficial Facebook

Written by Cole Olson

Pensées Nocturnes: Nom d’une Pipe!
Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions
2.5 / 5