Out of Germany and into my heart comes BONJOUR TRISTESSE with Your Ultimate Urban Nightmare. Released on the 27th of July 2018 and being 3 years in the making, following Par Un Sourire. Perhaps not such a long wait for some but for me… phew, at last!
Pitch the album art against the opener and that does a great job of painting our cityscape in which to linger. From there, the album moves straight into what I term as the ‘Black-Gaze’ style and maybe more to the point though, what Nathanael (ex Agrypnie / King Apathy) calls ‘Urban Black Metal’.
What it is; Depressive, melancholy and downright catharsis made audio. So mournful in its mood that my hopes are satiated immediately. Nothing but a sense of longing in this album would do and boy, Your Ultimate Urban Nightmare has it in spades.
9 songs with a play time of 44 minutes makes for a decent run time and plenty of diversity. From “Blacktop Prison”’s distorted piano piece to “Wavebreaker” with its sad spoken words ‘We are submerged by the Neverrealm – conceived with our own minds, built with our own hands and kept alive with our own lies’ – we have plenty of variety to appreciate and get to grips with. The shimmering guitar outro to this particular track is gentle and grainy at the same time, quite the contrast. “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City” is a highlight with a piano that reeks of ANATHEMA but hey, if you want to play the sorrowful piano, who can argue with an end result like that? OK I’m now playing the ubiquitous comparison game and I offer up the often talked about DEAFHEAVEN too. Simply put the walls of guitar effects, shining highs to present such desperate lows and an almost sickly sweet vibe, there’s no denying similarities. With slow paced guitars layered between glisteningly and blisteringly fast trem picks plus Nathanael’s raw vocal delivery, contrast is a key factor in many of the tracks. Lyrics wave between poetry and social commentary that may bring a tear to the eye.
Onto the more technical side now. Mixing and mastering has been handled by Oliver Carell of Blastbeat Productions and it seems to me that not only does he know how to handle this genre but must possess a searing passion for it too. That’s what I feel, there’s life and sparkle brought to Nathanael’s tormented futility.
You can find BONJOUR TRISTESSE over at Bandcamp, test a few tracks and then purchase a digital download at an extremely good price for this type of quality. I’ve grown to love Your Ultimate Urban Nightmare and I’m sure you could too.