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Âmes Sanglantes – l’Existence des Existences

It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that Âmes Sanglantes has found its way onto the release roster of Noir sur Noir.  After all, Pierre-marc Tremblay has been an important part of the world of post-industrial experimentation since the late 90’s — nearly 15 years, primarily through this project alone.  His work started quickly in those early years, releasing a great deal of material — somewhere upwards of 36 tapes —  between 1997 and 1999 under his own label Psychoelectronic Sounds Recordings.  These releases included splits (under “Âmes Sanglantes”) with everyone from Czech noise collective Napalmed to the criminally overlooked, vehemently anti-modern industrial propaganda of Eric Boros’ Hermit.  Of course, it wasn’t long before Tremblay landed the support of the likes of Deserted Factory, Troniks, and Anti-everything — support that would eventually push the project to the likes of highly respected labels Cipher Productions and Hospital Productions.  Outside of this tape, and much like his work in the well-known black metal project Akitsa, the output of Âmes Sanglantes has largely slowed down in recent years in favor of a project with a different direction in Contrepoison, whom have found a home in up-and-coming Italian label Avant! Records.

The work of Tremblay under the Âmes Sanglantes moniker is difficult to describe in terms of both theme and sound.  It is neither noise or dark ambient, nor is black metal or industrial.  It exists somewhere between all of these genres in a style of industrial that is unique to the project.  It progresses to include definitive musical and minimally rhythmic structures.  It contains just enough lo-fi distorted guitar to give it a blackened atmosphere.  The instrumentation and electronics stay constant enough to make the music reminiscent of drone with side B even featuring the depth in the bass-end of production required to attain an all-encompassing meditative allure.  There are even subtle experimental layers towards the end of Side A and a short-lived approach to straight-up noise in the middle of side B.  It isn’t chaotic and it isn’t harsh, but rather ethereal in an unequivocally dark way.  As complex as it may sound, it really isn’t — most of what is present on the album is as straight-forward as it gets, but the simplistic, minimalist approach is one that, more often than not, seems to achieve the best level of atmosphere.

I find the theme behind the music to be a bit confusing, perhaps lost in translation from Tremblay’s native language of French.  Just judging by the track title, the idea behind the music would seem to follow the simplistic nature of the compositions themselves, more or less attempting to journey into the world of spirits and the supernatural.  Like the Maussade C55 however, there is a note included on the J-card that takes us a bit further into the mindset behind the release and hints at polysemanticism in a modest sense.  This small paragraph gives a mocking glare towards modernity and society’s addiction to contemporary science and its consistent attempts at disproving all that is still mysterious in our world and beyond the veil of our reality.  It begs for the subversion of the overtly realist mindset in favor of an archaic acceptance that there is simply more out there than we can possibly scientifically comprehend as humans.  Let there be mysteries, let them influence our own spirits.  So, in dual meanings you can see this release as both a surreal voyage into apparitional subjects, or one man’s attempt at putting the brakes on the unending stampede of progress that threatens our very ability to be left endlessly inspired by the workings of the world beyond our reach.  Either way, it’s quite the effort.

Track List:

A1) La Manifestation
B1) l’Ectoplasme

Rating: 4.75/5
Written by: Sage
Label: NSN (Canada) / NSN004 / Tape
Industrial / Dark Ambient