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Boomkat Product Review:
Velvet Cacoon (note the spelling, it's not a mistake) are one of the bands where the backstory is almost as inviting as the music itself. Shrouded in mystery it is allegedly the brainchild of two Oregonians Josh (aka SGL) and Angela (aka LVG) and was conceived back in 1996, even though the first release only surfaced in 2002. When asked why they took so long in releasing anything the band claimed that they were uninterested in exposure and record labels, and have continued to challenge the hypocrisy of the scene ever since, upsetting black metal fans the world over. Further reading on this is almost obligatory, but on listening to the music on 'Genevieve', the band's second 'proper' album all the mythos of the band fades into the background thanks to some truly stunning tracks. Claiming to take their influence from straightforward rock and ambient music, it is instantly obvious that Velvet Cacoon are not your average black metal act and are rather more willing to experiment with form than so many others on the scene. Comparisons could be made to the singular and still deeply influential 'Filosofem' by Burzum, but Velvet Cacoon are able to inject this dense, blackened vision with harmony and patches of light. Through the pummelling drum machine rhythms and thick, angry drug-induced guitar haze you can hear an almost shoegazing sensibility occasionally and a core of dream-like ambience which emerges wholeheartedly on the album's final track (which takes up an entire side of vinyl!). This is a piece which has more in common with Angelo Badalamenti's peerless 'Mulholland Dr.' score or the cavernous dark ambient works of Lustmord, Deathprod or Thomas Koner than with the meat-and-potatoes US black metal scene and shows that Velvet Cacoon are truly out there on their own. Showing that there's more to Cascadia that meets the eye and coming neatly after L'Acephale's similarly blackened 'Mord und Totschlag' from a couple of weeks back there should be more than enough here to keep open minded metal fans happy. Stunning from beginning to end, it's a credit to Southern Lord for giving this stuff the royal treatment - double vinyl and with a velvet cover that just has to be seen to be believed. Essential.