French black metal is on the upswing and in two-piece Pénitence Onirique, it has a band that could push through the murky underground. Taking in myriad shades of darkness, V.I.T.R.I.O.L swirls with heated malevolence and barely takes pause for breath.
Le Soufre incorporates sly dissonance underneath the heady howls of vocalist Diviciacos – whose voice seems cloaked in the shadows but is a disarming presence nonetheless – while the title track allows a rasped scream to shine through the driving guitars and push for control.
The setup comes across a little chaotic on first listen, but this is not a record to be heard once and forgotten about, and repeated listens will reveal melody, melancholy and even beauty. V.I.T.R.I.O.L is a work on death, on darkness and on the spirit and Pénitence Onirique filter the esoteric through the romance of the French language, bringing an intimacy to the finality that’s being wrought and a feeling of peace despite the coming end.