Sometimes the message of a band is so poignant and personal, the music, even that of depressive black metal, will touch you. Even when the music is not overly complex or intricately arranged, if the message of the band is clear, then I would call them a success. Speaking of poignant messages and meanings for a band, I was recently introduced to a depressive black metal whose message really blew me away. Some Happy Thoughts, a Quebecois two piece, released a demo called “Le Manqué II.”
Death is simply a part of life, and good and bad moments are simply going to happen. While life is random and often painful and confusing, if we can accept that life is confusing, random, full of good moments and bad moments, we will be able to live a peaceful life. Such is the message of the band. It’s a fascinating concept, one that a listener might come across more than a few times within the realm of depressive black metal but the concept runs a little deeper for Some Happy Thoughts. There are actually only two riffs played through the twelve-minute demo, each representing the positive and negative things we find in our lives. I didn’t clock the time for each riff to see which one won out in the end because I think that might have been looking a little too deep into the music without really listening to it, losing the forest while looking for the trees if you will.
Le Manqué II is the actual story of a man (supposedly named Manqué) who attempted suicide with a shotgun and failed. When told with words the story can leave a nasty feeling in gut, conjured images of gun mutilated bodies (like Mayhem’s own Dead) can undoubted fill the mind; and of course the fact that the man lived through that somehow is crazy. Told through music, the very same story is a tragic tale of a man attempting to leave this world because of the massive buildup of chaos, bad moments, and pain but fate has forced him to live on, mired in pain and despair. I would call it Shakespearean but I don’t think that the word quite fits this scope of the story.
The music on the album is raw, with unwieldy production that might intentionally add to the story’s theme of randomness and chaos or it might just be me looking too deeply into the music looking for meaning (I am a lit theorist so it’s very possible). Whatever the intention with the production I think it works to the story’s advantage being reed thin and scratchy.
Philosophy aside, I really did like the music. Depressive black metal can be hard to listen to because it’s a lot of what the Norwegian scene was ramped up to 11, It’s minimal and reed thin with nearly enough fuzz to block out the actual music and vocals that sound like bean sidhe.
All in all, I would say this duo have a lot of promise but, too, they have a lot of work ahead of them. The talent and the vision are clearly there so I look forward to what they can make in the future. Their concept is an imaginative one but to really do it justice it will take time to build up and perfect. Keep a look out for them in the future.
Listen and support!