The Revenant

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The record by L’Eclipse Nue was sent to me with one of the most elaborate press packs I’ve ever clamped my nerveless digits around, including a business card, two handouts, and an A4 art print of the project’s logo. The outside of the plastic wallet has been hand-speckled with drops of blood, to usher in the Grand Guignol themes of this CD of violent and grisly noise. Plus there’s a full colour photo of Daniel Sine, the sole perpetrator of this release, resplendent in his mascara and black lipstick, chains, tattoos, and studded wrist band, projecting an androgynous vibe. The bloody intravenous tube attached to his arm is an especially decadent touch. So far I feel surfeited under the weight of these Goth clichés.

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However, Negative (DOREI RECORDINGS DOR-021-CD) turns out to be a very good record, an engaging and inventive piece of heavy industrial noise with a horror-movie theme, performed with conviction and great attention to detail by said Stine. There’s a lot of dynamic changes, twists, and effects; it’s not simply a blasting wall of hellish harsh noise. I like the way the whole album manages to sustain a mood (a suffocating mood), and even tell a story of sorts, proceeding through its inexorable course with the logic of a nightmarish piece of cinema; one might almost call it quite mesmerising, exerting strong effects on the listener with a pull that is hard to resist. L’Eclipse Nue does it all with synths, samplers, and lots of vocals, treating everything with tons of effects; the vocals are one of the strongest elements, in fact.

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It’s clear that lyrical content has some meaning to Sine, and he’s not just out for terrifying screech and shriek to alarm the listener; he even seems to be playing the parts of the various doomed characters in his 11-track three-act play, acting out the storyline. Even if many of them don’t do much more than howl in anguish or pain, at least they do it distinctively. The fragments of the story, if indeed there is one, can be gleaned from the very narrative track titles such as ‘Heart Scrambles Futilely To Escape’ or ‘Facing the Gaping Jaws Of Infinity’, and the press notes confirm “it is the story of a model who, after being exploited and murdered, returns from the grave for her revenge”. Presumably a well-worn copy of I Spit On Your Grave is the cornerstone of this guy’s DVD collection, then…

The cover art (by Christian Weston Chandler) was the first part of the project to emerge in this instance, and Sine decided to concoct Negative as a soundtrack to this vividly-imagined image of a vengeful revenant. Impressive; no wonder that Sine feels himself somewhat apart from the Tokyo noise scene with what he regards as its “rather conservative genre boundaries”. If interested to learn more, other releases on his own Dorei Recordings label exist from as far back as 2011, and while he occasionally does split albums and collaborations, he’s clearly a solo flyer with his own personal visions to follow, and many inner demons to purge. Arrived 28 January 2016.

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