CD, Kaosthetik Konspiration, 2009
Upon arrival, “Humanity Needs No Funeral”, the debut album of French power electronics/dark ambient act Aere Aeternus, came accompanied by a copy of a b&w photocopied ‘zine titled “L’internationale Erotique – pour un Évangile du Quotidien et de la Démesure”. While I doubt this is part of the CD release proper, it did help put into context what Aere Aeternus were trying to achieve with their own work – putting the human condition into perspective under an extremely nihilistic and misanthropic light.
Despite a relatively acceptable beginning, the failings to this album become readily apparent. In essence, they miss the needed balance between ambient and aggression. This is really a very delicate and difficult balancing act to achieve and, more often than not, the end result may well feel like a combination of the worst of what both worlds have to achieve – so much that it’s safer to focus on either aggression or ambient moods. From the beginning, it feels Aere Aeternus rush things and try to dive too deep thus failing at building the needed tension for a work of this kind. Then, there is the all too obvious overuse of porn samples which peppers a significant portion of the album. The end result sounds exceedingly forced and quite unconvincing – except perhaps for those who are lacking in maturity or unfamiliar with these kinds of music.
Featuring a combination of satanic/occult imagery, the video included in the album does nothing to help things. If anything, this collection of worn-out clichés comes across as nothing more than evil kitsch and is even less credible than the rest of the album.
While I’m not an apologist of dismissing something just because it’s been done before, the fact remains that quite a few artists have tread this hybrid path before with much more appealing results – “Les Diaboliques” by Des Esseintes, some material by Navicon Torture Technologies and, obviously, Lustmord come to mind at the moment.
This is not to say that Aere Aeternus aren’t honest about the message they are trying to convey. Perhaps they should consider re-evaluating their aesthetics and their discourse to avoid the clichés mentioned above or, perhaps (and quite difficult), reformulate them into something more convincing.
— Miguel de Sousa