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Review: Velvet Cacoon - Genevieve
Velvet Cacoon

Label: Full Moon Productions
Year released: 2004
Duration: 55:21
Tracks: 7
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: February 4, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.17/5 (63.33%) (18 Votes)

Velvet Cacoon were the crème de la crème of the US black metal underground a couple of years or so ago, with fans fawning over their every statement, and creaming themselves over their huge discography. However, it turned out, most of it was all bullshit. Velvet Cacoon was, on the face of it, created by a couple of pompous pretentious freaks as an almost art school-like 'project', which exposed a large part of the black metal underground of being something most of us already had worked out – a load of fake, shit-talking kult-er than thou idiots. Talk of the mysterious band members backgrounds in eco-terrorism, not to mention the ridiculous (I thought) use of a 'Diesel-harp'(!) instead of a guitar to get the horrific buzzing tones was unfounded apart from in the propaganda leaked from the band themselves. But, the gullible kiddies lapped it up, and I myself remember having a conversation with a couple of people who were bragging about owning certain impossible to find releases from their back catalog. But, impossible was indeed the word to use, due to the fact that over half of their huge discography didn't even exist, and also some parts that were in circulation wasn't actually Velvet Cacoon's work at all….

So with plagiarism and crap aside, what did the band actually achieve with the material that was theirs (with Genevieve being the debut of only three releases which were actually created by the band – well, until it's been confirmed differently!). Well, it's pretty good actually. Velvet Cacoon played a sparkling brand of Burzum-ic styled hypnotic black metal, with large ambient sections and huge song lengths. The shoe-gazing side of Xasthur would certainly have been an influence on a lot of the music here (especially noticeable on the title track), and the raspy, whispered vocal work is also highly reminiscent of that heard coming from the throat of Malefic too. The harrowing melodies echo and sparkle with the morbid dissonant guitar, while the prominent drumwork, low set vocals and sparse spatterings of piano add great weight to the atmosphere, which sometimes borders on drone doom-like black metal due to the repetitive, simplistic edge to the riffs. The highlight of the album for me is 'Fauna and Flora', which encompasses not only a perfect bewitching melody, but also the great 'hypnotic' factor which can so easily walk the knife edge between genius and dullness. Where the band are let down on this album however, is in the final track 'Bete Noir', which as an entirely ambient track bordering on the 20 minute mark. Well, I say ambient, but it just sounds like the hum of a generator with a few 'ethereal' sounds edited over it, rather than the spellbinding soundtrack to the outer reaches of imagination they attempted.

So, all in all Genevieve is in essence a worthy black metal album, and one that should not be ignored, no matter what your opinion is of the band that created it.

More about Velvet Cacoon...
Review: Genevieve (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: Northsuite (reviewed by Ktb)
Interview with LVG on November 8, 2004 (Interviewed by Chris Mitchell (Desolate Gale))
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