CD: Malignant Records TUMORCD23 [2005]

Les Diaboliques
Requiem For My Green Fairy

There’s a cunt…in the nicest possible sense of the word…who writes film reviews for a certain Sunday newspaper. Fuck it…he’s called Paul Ross…like sue my poor ass. Anyway…he never ever writes a bad review. Every film is fucking magic. When clearly they are not. And he gets fucking paid to be a toadying twat. So now if I have the misfortune to read one of his pieces extolling the virtues of the latest releases, or see his poxy quotes on a film poster, I automatically assume that film to be a piece of crap. I’ve lost faith in his ability to be anything other than a fawning baboon.

I’m a true music fan whose been collecting records for over 35 years and know my shit. If I recommend to you a piece of music, then you can be safely assured that (providing you’re into what’s being reviewed) you can safely blow your wad on a recording knowing it won’t disappoint. Call it ‘Big Fat Al’s Guaranteed Seal Of Approval’ or BFAGSOA in its shortened version. "Les Diaboliques" is the latest release to receive the BFAGSOA.

For those of you not in the know Des Esseintes is the latest side project by Mr Protagonist himself…Magnus Sundstrom. The first release by Des Esseintes was on the mini split CD with Discrepant "Folie a deux" where he showcased the awesomely barnstorming ‘Scrying / Closure’ track. ‘Closure’ makes a re-appearance here but more of that later.

First I have to discuss the cover…if only because of the memories it evokes. Those of you long in the tooth may recall the German import porn mags of old where the women and men had all their naughty bits covered over with a well placed strategic star. On this digi-pak the women depicted adorning the front and inside cover…no men thankfully…have that aforementioned star with their eyes also given the blotted out treatment. Symbolism…don’t you just love it. Of course you’re not going to buy a recording just because it has a titillation cover…surely no-ones that fucking sad…apart from me…the music has to stand up to scrutiny.

"Les Diaboliques" is 6 tracks that straddle the early Industrial templates of old with modern day black ambient noise and colossal beat driven sensibilities. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow…but not in that precise order. Beginning with ‘Discontinued’ where a softly spoken Swedish (possibly…languages aren’t my strongest point) female voice intones something…fuck know what…it descends into a pool of sludge beats, clanking metal and electronic nightmarish sounds before reaching it’s exhausting crescendo. Just as your recovering from that sluggish onslaught track two ‘Due’ proceeds to knock you for six. The slow ambient textures that slowly evolve mask the hardcore BPM hubbub that suddenly appears. The tune itself being a slightly different mix of ‘Scrying / Closure’ but no less thunderous in its execution or impact. Track three ‘Proclamation’ goes back to our Nordic fem fatale over a backdrop of the blackest slow beaten ambience that revels in its unsettling effect. Track four ‘Closure’ should have been the high point to "Les Diaboliques" but being totally revamped and reconstructed it has lost something in the remix. The maniacal drumming was the high point to the original 13 minute track but here everything seems more muted and watered down. Still if you haven’t heard the original you’ll be none the wiser to this. Track five ‘Les Diaboliques’ goes into the horror groove of black ambient hair-raising dense music whilst Track six ‘Requiem for my Green Fairy’ concludes the recording with a fitting piece of mesmerizing haunting ambience.

"Les Diaboliques" is just…perfect. Beautifully realised. Beautifully accomplished. Unequivocally essential. You have my word on it.


[Des Esseintes] / [Malignant]

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Other Reviews:

Des Esseintes / Diskrepant [Folie À Deux]
Des Esseintes / E.P.A. [AZ50HD]

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