Music review by Kirsten Imani Kasai
Diable Amoreux, Ringstone Round, 2006
I wanted so badly to like this album. The press release promises “ambient apocalyptic folk” music, which I imagined to be a shivery, gorgeously grim mess of pulsing melodies – a harmonic convergence of Goth, classical and traditional folk similar to The Gathering or Dead Can Dance. The fact that Diable Amoreux hail from Tasmania is almost enough to recommend them, on coolness factor alone. Alas, our love affair was thwarted!
“7”, the creator of DA has suffused the album with a single gimmick, and like all gimmicks, its appeal quickly wears thin. A tinny, warbling uber-soprano, 7 sings in the guise of a gnome giddy to have escaped lawn-ornament duty.
Listening to Ringstone Round is akin to chilling to a really great CD, while a demonic dental assistant runs the drill at top speed an inch from your eardrum for the duration. And cackles madly while the receptionist beats an ominous drum.
Moody, resonant songs like “Ophelia” would nicely spice up any “You torture me” styled mix tapes, but much of the album is rendered unlistenable (except perhaps by dogs, who might appreciate the high-pitched squealing that passes for singing) without the preliminary of a few bong hits. If only 7 would come out of hiding, regale us with vocals that do justice to the grim, fantasy-inspired instrumentals that richly layer the background, this could be a truly dark and splendid offering.