Review 1679 : Bonjour Tristesse – Against Leviathan – English

It’s time to wake up Bonjour Tristesse.

Solo project of German multi-instrumentalist Nathanael (Heretoir, ex-Agrypnie, ex-King Apathy, ex-Thränenkind), it comes into the world in 2008, then unveils itself with a first album in 2010, followed by a break from 2012 to 2018, date of release of the second opus. Against Leviathan!, the third album, is announced for 2023 by Supreme Chaos Records.

Turmoil, the first composition, immediately buries us under a wave of raw darkness with chilling melodies, joined by terrifying, ghostly howls feeding off the ambient aggression. Even when harmonics become more melodic and rhythmic becomes quieter, the atmosphere remains oppressive, letting the visceral sounds take over with piercing Old School influences, slowly leading us to Nightbringer, a much more haunting track. If the rhythm is clearly more soothing than the previous one, we’ll notice regular short explosions of rage, which even suffocate quietness before gradually letting it bounce back on its feet between two waves of fury, which come to life again on Against Leviathan, the eponymous track. The musician overwhelms us with an intense rhythmic, coupled with these devastating vocal parts, creating a real tidal wave of darkness borrowing seizing tonalities from Post-Black and DSBM, which will also fade for a minimalistic break. But quietness once again won’t last, since the rhythmic basis will rise from its ashes, dragging with it the most aggressive sounds to better transform them into intoxicating volutes before Ode to Emptiness comes to add its gloomy tones to an already very dark and heavy atmosphere. We even feel the screams’ power more on this track, which does not hesitate to make its instrumental explode, or on the opposite to nail it to the ground, creating an as exciting as heartbreaking relief until the very last note.

Few bands bear their name as well as Bonjour Tristesse. Four tracks, one man, and yet Against Leviathan! will take you on a journey through all negative emotions, from raw anger to seizing loneliness.


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