Clair Cassis “Clair Cassis” (2010)

Clair Cassis, the name itself, reminds me of some 19th century French wine from the deepest cave, or perhaps my ex-mistress’ haut de gamme perfume which she would wear only once my eyes had been delicately blindfolded. Well, according to urban legend, this new entity rather should be interpreted as the so-called “Pop version of Velvet Cacoon” – a flag I consider unable to faithfully represent the dreamy dunes visited by Clair Cassis, in spite of the part of truth which it displays, anyhow that is. If any, the most significant change would be the abounding sound design counterbalancing two bands at one with and against each other. Typically, Velvet Cacoon engulfed their riffs in a murky haze so foggy and so deep that, in the end, it would modulate and (un)determine the riffs themselves; on the other hand, it is Clair Cassis’ riffing, as recumbent and outspread as it sounds, which is eating up its wavelenghts so to speak, to such a degree that the focus is now on the playing band as such, and not on the atmosphere through which they’re playing. Their musick is therefore more instantaneous, more somptuous, and more intricate, which is never a bad thing when it is well-done. Another subtle nuance would be to say that, whereas Velvet Cacoon ended their career with two hours of distilled drone (Atropine) and fourty minutes of ghostly buzzing *something*-metal (33), Clair Cassis are instead out-composing, although both elongated in depth and short-attention-span in lenght, some unusually straight ahead Black metal for old-timer fans and newcomers to re-discover under a new (gloomy) glow.

True, Josh and Angela were/are V.C. and C.C., but I think our comparisons will suffice for now. The musick of Clair Cassis is enough to stand on its own, believe me. Somewhere between soft cascades of milky dissonance and mirage-like tableaux, the Brobdingnagian guitars literally float around the warmest sleep-walking bass lines, and as the glib drummer grooves behind both of them to minimalistically support their aetheric framework, one can hear those mysteriously crisp shrieks sung in the back of the musick’s mind. Also an integral part of the project, the scattered use of acoustic guitars reeks of earthly landscapes without using any of the folklorish clichés, and definitely adds to the nature-embedded quality of Clair Cassis, bringing its starlight reveries a bit closer to the soil. All the songs are pretty much following the same watery recipe, but they do so with a grain of brilliant magick, since despite their shorter and more individual nature, the album as a whole feels like it’s wafting you through deep-sea levels of consciousness. In fact, regardless of my talent (or yours) to describe what I (or you) hear, should I try to dissect every song, it would be like trying to explain their titles – completely pointless. We have a band here whose word-painting is equivalent in charms and mysteries to their sound-painting, and they have settled to explore the aquatic unconscious of Black metal’s dreamy netherworlds. Indeed, headphones come strongly recommended, as the musick is boundless and psychedelic, if and only if you dare follow the nighttime waterfalls of Clair Cassis until you swim in it.

-Oliver Side


Release:  2010
Label:  Starlight Temple Society
Avantgenre:  Moonlit Wateries & Metal Elves
Duration:  33:31
Origin:  USoA
Official site:
Review online since:  22.07.2010 / 05:26:38


01 – Ambercandle
02 – The Feathered Fog
03 – Kir Royale
04 – Our Overwintering In The Ivories
05 – Pearls & Pinesmoke
06 – Noctilucent Petrichor
07 – Hazelhearted In The Seaparlour

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