On April 7th Supreme Chaos Records will release Against Leviathan, the third album by the Bavarian black metal band Bonjour Tristesse. It’s the first part of a two- part cycle, which has a conceptual thread running through it. As the band and label describe: It “paints an extremely bleak picture of the dystopian reality of our time from an unusual perspective. It can be seen as an angry and passionate critique of the industrialized world we are living in. At the centre is the conflict between modern humanity and nature”.
The album consists of four long songs, and today we present the one that closes the record — “Ode to Emptiness“.
Bonjour Tristesse is the solo project of Nathanael, who is also active with Heretoir (they have a new mini-album, Wastelands, due for release on May 19th by AOP Records), among others. In listening to Against Leviathan, it seems abundantly evident that the album is a genuinely personal work, driven by un-forced emotional intensity but fashioned with elaborate songcraft and attention to detail. That is certainly true of “Ode To Emptiness“, a doom-influenced song of great dynamism that interweaves episodes of jaw-dropping scale and power, blistering fury, and haunting despondency.
The song’s sound is indeed often massive and towering, and immediately creates a feeling of deep melancholy bordering on hopelessness. The slow wail of the lead guitar pierces through the crushing weight and becomes an apparition of poignant, tragic beauty, but Nathanael‘s shattering screams have an even more piercing (and emotionally scarring) impact.
As a long song, its intensity ebbs and flows. A beautifully glinting acoustic guitar instrumental creates a mood of wistfulness. The crush of immense chords and cannon-shot drums vanquishes that soft reverie, and the blazing guitars and tormented screams rocket the music to vast and desperate heights. The song also explodes in a breathtaking typhoon of blasting and booming drums and waves of searing riffage, through which a beseeching melody flows like a dark and twisting river. The drums also lock into a head-moving backbeat, and the savage whir of the guitars picks up the energy in defiant tones.
There’s another moment of softness, a moment of soulful and seductive brightness in the music, and then the song soars and sweeps again, anchored by a ground-shaking bass pulse and those skull-busting snare rhythms. The layered guitars throb and flow, seeming to channel feelings of remembrance of vital things lost, and the sorrow of regret. At the end, music of mesmerizing introspection again surfaces, a fitting conclusion to a captivating work.
Supreme Chaos will release the album on LP vinyl (in variant colors), DigiPak CD, and digital formats, and you can find info about how to get it via the links below. We are also including streams of two other previously released songs, “Nightbringer” and the title track “Against Leviathan”