Ni — Pantophobie
(Dur et Doux DD-028, 2019, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-06-17
Three years after Les Insurgés de Romilly and time spent on side project PinioL, Ni is back with a new album, Pantophobie, released on March 1, 2019. While being faithful to earlier releases, but probably a bit darker, Pantophobie or the fear of everything, explores various phobias as a main theme: fear of the sun, fear of chickens, fear of vegetables, fear of the blank page or writer’s block, fear of being ridiculed, fear of being forgotten or ignored, fear of failure, fear of speaking or talking, and the fear of standing. Ni is the four-headed monster of Anthony Béard (guitar), Nicolas Bernollin (drums), Benoit Lecomte (bass), and François Mignot (guitar), who mash together complex polyrhythms, electronics, and discordant guitars that assault your senses. Taking cues from earlier bands such as Kind Crimson, Shub Nigguruth, Present, etc., they crush their cigarettes very hard, dig a hole into the ground, and leave the listeners in ashes. The cover art is a mind-bending surreal and fascinating depiction of the phobias on the album. Trying to relate each track to its specific phobia can be a challenge. After a while it all sounds like similar glimpses into a deranged mind, alternating between ambient passages, screaming, scary sonic assaults, and non-traditional song structures. You have to be in the proper frame of mind to experience this music. It is definitely not for the timid.
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