Profundae Libidines - _El Viaje Definitivo_
(Emanations, 2015)
by: Chaim Drishner (8 out of 10)
So the very curious and semi-mysterious French label Les Acteurs de L'Ombre Productions (AKA LADLO Productions) has now established a sub-label that goes by the name of Emanations, and if someone has ever thought LADLO had some strange, "out-there" albums released under its wing, wait until you listen to the stuff Emanations releases.

Take Profundae Libidines for instance; nothing on their _El Viaje Definitivo_ could be considered even remotely orthodox. Strangely dubbed as a black metal band, this album proves it's an empty-worded labeling that doesn't describe the whole picture. The music these Frenchmen write and play is very subtle, very delicate in its paying attention to details and its precise conveyance of emotions: one note dropped or changed in the array of notes played, and they'll be out of tune with the certain emotion they wanted to convey; it's all very accurate and calculated, even though the music is essentially played in such a nonchalant, seemingly improvised manner, it sounds often like a rehearsal of a hardcore punk or a punk rock (or a noise rock) band jamming and improvising in an underground basement, or in an abandoned garage, or something like that.

The production is extremely raw, yet vivid, causing the listener to often wonder about what's really raw here: is it indeed the production or the music itself? Everything is exposed here, not one detail obscured, allowing for a crystal clear glimpse into the innards of this band's music. Allegedly primitive, some would even say 'caveman music', this misplaced initial conception of the band's music will not last for long, once you listen carefully to the compositions. First, the music has an obscure post-punk aftertaste to it, as though Bauhaus (in their earliest days as a band) had decided to lose all inhibitions and discard any rules or aesthetic restrictions and just go wild for one night.

Subliminal and subtle, Profundae Libidines place themselves on the spot between utter psychedelia, halfway through avantgarde, and basic, punk-rock oriented black metal of the simplest, crudest kind yet one that bears magical qualities. Despite the primordial characteristics, the music sounds engrossing and vivid, its magic works on every level, as if a fail-safe mechanism has been engaged into the fabric of the songs. After all, black metal doesn't need to be sophisticated or aptly-produced; black metal should emanate emotions, and drive those right into the heart of the unsuspecting victim. This one does, its weapons of choice are the strange, tragic compositions, the inherent melancholy and the perfect, fuzzy and bizarre riffs the band have chosen to display.

Pleasantly weird, between the chants, rasps, semi-oriental scales and suicidal emotions this recording contains -- a sonic alliance is born; a covenant of elements whose aim is to deliver the most fucked-up, strange, estranged yet sentimental music one could possibly endure, and had you been born in the 1970s or earlier -- experiencing in real time the post-punk explosion -- you might have enjoyed this recording even more, due to its dark '80s aesthetic references.

Somewhere on a crossroads between Siculicidium and Nuit Noir, this album is highly recommended for all the weirdos out there, this reviewer included.


(article published 8/7/2015)

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