Velvet Cacoon - Genevieve
Full Moon Productions
Minimalist Ambient Black Metal
7 songs (55:21)
Release year: 2004
Velvet Cacoon, Full Moon Productions
Reviewed by Daniel

This two piece (LVG and SGL) Oregon band has turned a lot of heads in the underground because of their extreme ideologies, which include eco-terrorism, sexual abstinence and profound drug experimentation; and because of their even more extreme live acts, that feature self inflicted burns and mutilation among other disturbing acts.

What about their music? you might be thinking. Well, even tough the band has recorded music since 1995 or some time around that year, it’s very likely that not even 95% of the people that have heard the name Velvet Cacoon have actually heard their music. Why? Because Velvet Cacoon albums are extremely hard to find because they weren’t properly released because of any number of reasons; or if released, they were available in ultra-scarce quantities; until now.

Genevieve is the second chapter of the December Star Embassy saga and the first proper and public release by the band (which means you will actually be able to find it), and at last we have a chance to see if their music lives to their quasi-legend status.

The music in Genevieve is a blend between minimalist ambient music and Black Metal with a lot of experimentation going on; I understand that Velvet Cacoon played a heat powered guitar-like instrument they created, called “dieselharp” in this album; this can give you an idea of the heavy experimentation going on in this album.

The guitars (or whatever they used) create a thick wall of sound, while the keyboards create an obscure and rather comforting atmosphere; in some songs like Avalon Polo, a more clear sounding Black Metal riff is used, or in Genevieve there’s a melancholic clean guitar arpeggio and some nice Black Metal riffs, but most of the time the guitar only has the previously described function. The drums, which are in fact drum machine, play monotonous beats, with no fills and no flashiness, sometimes slow and others more up-beat but they always keep it simple. Something I find interesting is that some songs like P.S. Nautical have extremely soothing keyboards but up-beat drums, thing that creates a kind of weird, contradictory sensation; but very nice though. As for the vocals they’re almost at all times only whispers, with a few light growls here and there, thing I feel fits the music quite well.

The album is quite solid; with the exception of the ultra boring closer, Bete Noir, which is an ambient track supposed to be specially designed for hearing while under the effects of dextromethorphan; but for people like me that doesn’t use that stuff, it’s rather useless and as I said before, plain boring.

I really liked this one; it’s definitely one of those albums which you slowly become addicted to; makes me wish the other albums by this band were available.

Genevieve is one of those albums you enjoy the most while laying down on bed with the lights dimmed and with your headphones on; so do so, and you’ll soon find youself hypnotized by the soothing, numbing and relaxing dark lullaby Velvet Cacoon has finally decided to share with the world.

Killing Songs :
All are very good (except Bete Noir) but Avalon Polo and Genevieve are my favorites.
Daniel quoted 87 / 100
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