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Pénitence Onirique

Recently, the French outfit Pénitence Onirique totally blew me away with their magnificent black metal debut 'V.I.T.R.I.O.L. Expansive vistas, chills and powerful songs; out of the blue, this duo came up with a rare wide range of experiences. It seems the band itself is also surprised by this fact, as became clear during this interview with singer Diviciacos, which obviously could not be omitted.

By: Roel de Haan | Archive under black metal

Greetings! To start things properly: How are you doing?
Pretty good I think, since we have to respond to interviews about our first album's release: a year ago, we thought releasing it relatively anonymously in self-production, so we will not complain too much.

Since this will be your first interview with Lords Of Metal, could you introduce Pénitence Onirique to our readers through means of short biography?
P.O is a two-headed French entity, formed in 2015, composed of Bellovesos for everything related to music and me (Diviciacos) for lyrics and voices. We try to deliver a complex black metal, radical and ambient in a very personal esoteric and alchemical atmosphere.

I wanted to congratulate you with your new album ‘V.I.T.R.I.O.L’! I was completely blown away by it. How are the general reactions to the album? What are your expectations for the album?
Thank you very much ! this is the kind of reactions we have in general , and this is really incredible and unexpected . We were not expecting so many good reviews on our album. As I said, we thought releasing the album relatively anonymously and self-produced. Our music is primarily done for us and to discharge a lot of things we had to evict. That people are so excited is something really crazy for us.

‘V.I.T.R.I.O.L’ is an album that utilizes repetition, melody and aggression with great result, engulfing the listener in it entrancing realm. How do you accomplish this in terms of song-writing?
I'm not necessarily the best person to answer this question, but the composition of the album was quite radical and intensive, all that in a relatively short period of time: the composition did not take long, the songs came out practically as can be heard on the album. It’s radical and intense, because emotions are radical and intense. The idea was to create a stressful and violent music. The repetitions is pushing the listener to "stress", before putting him in a more convoluted and ambient atmosphere, which leads him to escape and feel, while keeping some intensity.

The production of the album is absolutely stellar! Hard-hitting and powerful but with a certain character to avoid sterility. Did you have a certain sound in your head when you started the recordings? Are you satisfied with the result?
Yes, Bellovesos had a particular sound in mind that worked before the composition, particularly the very ambient guitar track (that many took for a synth). It was a desire to find a compromise between violence and ambience, with powerful drums, the very present bass and this ambient guitar that embraces the entire sound. Also we worked with our great friends from the Rising studio for mastering in order to give a more broad and powerful sound. We are very happy with the result of this first album, it’s obviously perfectible but we started in our home studio, either for recording the music and voices, so we've got no regrets.

band image

The songs on the album feel very much as a unity to be viewed upon as a whole. Is there perhaps a concept or theme to’ V.I.T.R.I.O.L’? If so, could tell something about it?
We cannot really speak of concept album, but there is actually a global theme, the search for inner peace before death, through various initiatory journeys. V.I.T.R.I.O.L (Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Occultum Lapidem) is the idea to dig deep within oneself, in one's own soul to find the lights, the philosopher's stone, the gold, removal of suffering and what drives and tortures a soul throughout it's life. Every songs draws a different travel, which results, or not, to find inner peace.

Your music conveys a somber or melancholy but also epic atmosphere. It somehow balances between a very personal and a larger than life feel.
Sorry to repeat myself again, we had a lot to expel and various emotions pulling us down. This album was already quite ready on our mind, whether music or words, it only had to find its way out. Our influences, our universe, the city where we live are exactly represented in this album. Yes this album is melancholic and epic, because that's what drives us and also what makes us feel

What are the things that inspire you to make this kind of music?
A lot of things ! Music from the 90's, Swedish black metal & melodic death metal as Dissection, Sacramentum... Bands like Emperor, Limbonic Art, The Ruins of Beverast, also some Funeral Doom as Esoteric and Colloseum, but also Drone and New Wave… Then French literature & poetry has a very big place : Baudelaire, Lautreamont, fantastic literature as Moorcock, Howard, Lovecraft... Then obviously philosophy, esotericism and religion are a significant part.

The artwork of the album is very intriguing; some kind of portal in a desolate mountainous landscape. How should we interpret this image? In what way is it reflecting your music according to you?
It’ a transition to something new, something shiny but not necessarily reassuring. The auditor should be able to ask: "Did I cross? Will I dig? Do I take the risk to go further in the questioning which runs through the album?". Yes this artwork is what we wanted, it’s perfect for this album.

Since you are a duo, do you have any plans to perform live? What would a Pénitence Onirique show be like?
We are actually working on line-up to be able to make gigs. We don’t want to be a LIVE band with big tour… making the same gig every time is not for us, we want people come to see the P.O universe, we want it to be ritual and not just a gigs. We will take time, but it will be.

You seem an outfit that has a definite sense of purpose. What are the things Pénitence Onirique wants to accomplish in the future?
We didn’t plan, we operate on instinct without asking too many questions, we just plan some gigs, we discuss and slowly start working on a new album and we will take the time needed to get it out. We don’t know where we go, only time will tell us.

Thank you very much for your time answering these questions, I wish you well and I hereby offer you the traditional final words to our readers!
Thank you for the interest, time and the opportunity you give us to express ourselves. Thank you to all the people who support us. I hope to see you soon. It was Diviciacos for Pénitence Onirique. Cheers.

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