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***Dominick Fernow’s Hospital Productions hail the obscure, transfixing poetry and exquisite gothic pall of Vilains Bonshommes; a Rimbaud-inspired duo including members of Canada’s Contrepoison and Norwegian BM group, Mare. Éternité Retrouvée (2011) was first released as a cassette on Norway’s Fossbrenna Creations and remains the duo’s only available output. Apparently a further album was promised, yet never manifested, which only serves to heighten the mystery of this one; their lone, exceptional iteration. Stripped to the bare essentials of drum machine, analog synth and vocals rendered in acres of sepulchral space, the 3-track EP draws listeners into a flawlessly realised sphere of dark influence where minimalist, desiccated harmonies and bony rhythms are embedded against unfathomably bombed out, maximalist backdrops - what most would define as unmistakably gothic. Poised, arch and evoking a sense of clutching power from the jaws of despair, the EP’s three tracks speak to life’s loneliest but formative experiences both literally, through the use of Rimbaud’s tortured poetry in the sagging heave of L’Éternité, and metaphorically, through economically authentic sound design in the dirges of Death Shines On Triumphant Days and The Ages Anew which both suspend the listener by icy hooks at the core of it all. It’s a perfect example of the dark imagination’s ability to bypass common sense and broach the depths of the soul...