Review 1471 : Jours Pâles – Tensions – English

Jours Pâles comes to close the year with its second album.

After an excellent first opus in 2021 released via Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, the band created by Spellbound (vocals/keyboards, Aorlhac) on the ashes of Asphodèle welcomes Alexis (guitar), Alex (bass, Aorlhac) and Ben (drums) then announces the release of Tensions on the same label, illustrated by Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Aephanemer…)

First feeling on Jour de pluie, jour de fête, the approach is much more aggressive than on the first album, coupling a crushing rage with energetic patterns, which sometimes leave room for dark melancholy. Spellbound‘s pen is always as raw and lacerating, mixing from time to time with a sample or some effects before driving us to this melodious final, then to Saint-Flour nostalgie, a track on which we clearly feel a suffocating atmosphere which is combined with an impressive vocal diversity as well as a raw, heady and sharp Black Metal. The heavy atmosphere sometimes welcomes some very pure parts before Ecumante de rage comes to bury us under a massive blast on which the dark riffs come to life. A short and soothing break lets the most melodic influences call again for energetic and quite Old School patterns which take turns to close the track and guide us to Tensions, the eponymous song, which stays in this aggressive and jerky atmosphere, whether it is on the instrumental parts or on visceral vocals. We’ll find again some softer and heady leads, then Saturnienne lassitude slowly shrouds us in a cocoon made of haunting sounds and soaring harmonics, which will be regularly torn by the singer’s hoarse voice, or by this desperate vocal sample which will ignite the flame of rage again until the ultimate melody will let Hâve come to life accompanied by icy and sharp sounds. The rhythmic slowly progresses by sailing between heartbreaking darkness, airy harmonics and surprisingly soothing parts, then the as scary as majestic break calls for fury again, followed by a catchy pattern, then by the sweet Ode à la vie (Chanson pour Aldérica), a composition which begins with a warm melancholy. The band welcomes Natalie Koskinen (Shape of Despair) to accompany them in this straitjacket of quietness which will explode with the arrival of distraught screams and more energetic patterns which remain rooted in despair, slowly leading us to Dose(s) and the return of viscerally aggressive patterns. Even when the instrumental is quieter, vocals take over to vomit their excruciating and scathing truth in our faces, letting Les feuilles tombent close the album with a long composition which explores again realism a,nd melancholy’s screaming despair created by a mix of Black Metal and Post-Rock, piercing melodies and wide but extremely expressive vocals.

Jours Pâles evolved a lot. Much rawer and straightforward than the previous one, Tensions keeps this suffocating atmosphere on sometimes airy, sometimes energetic riffs, which explore a wide musical spectrum to let the vocalist scream his hurtful and aggressive truth.


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