(From Maelstrom September 2006) http://www.maelstrom.nu/ezine/review_iss48_3507.php Review by
What's fascinating about writing for an underground music 'zine are golden opportunities to stumble upon obscure, grotesque — and sometimes wonderful — musical entities.
Artists such as S. Tyrrell, the mysterious and sole musician in Diable Amoreux, whose weapons are not over-distorted guitars and blood-spitting lungs, but tunes that are so sickly sweet, they impose a mental threat, generate antagonism, they set a distance between themselves and the common listener, hence the bands from whence they were originated are entitled to be called: underground.
Now, although Diable Amoreux's S. Tyrrell has adopted a Mortiis-meets- Arckanum's Shamaatae sort of fa ç ade, Satanic / pagan and philosophical / fable lyrical themes — the music is more into the Diamanda Galas versus Devil Doll versus Death in June theatrics and vocal approaches. In truth, Diable Amoreux does not have any solid or constant approaches; the focus is put on not having any linear, "standard" musical structure or a defined style. Even though it is self-proclaimed as "ambient apocalyptic folk," this title can only very loosely adhere to the "music" captured on Horns Used for Butting.
This unique recording is all about experimenting with radical paradoxes; it is extremely tranquil but very unsettling; some tunes are, as above mentioned, sweet to the point of vomiting but at the same time these very tunes are coupled with lyrics of death and perversion ("Storchy Weather" for instance); this music is the sonic equivalent to barbed wire buried in a candy wrapper; a chocolate bar flaked with shards of glass. Imagine that.
The vocals are twisted to the point of morbidity, escorted by a piano, an acoustic guitar, or a cello, or by all three at the same time. The music swings — as well as the pitch of voice — on the spectrum of emotions from almost-too-happy-to-bear tunes to almost dirge-like requiems, but never too sad or mourning but constantly gloating, scornful and mocking.
To sum what can't be really summed; this recording is as adventurous as it is phenomenal. It is dark and morbid in a paradoxically joyful way, twisted and original to the point of revulsion and a rewarding in an inexplicable way, the Diable Amoreux way. (9.666/10)
P.S. Don't let the redundant, closing, black metal-styled theme-song spoil the fun. It's not that bad of a song; but not as good as the album, either.