Moonreich - Loi Martiale

France's Moonreich have finally debuted their first full length, and it is everything fans should expect. Becoming another war metal band along the lines of God Dethroned and Absentia Lunae, the atmosphere is very cold and uncompromising in its fury with how the music is performed. The album opens with "Le regard..." which has a slow, crunching introduction that sounds like it is played on keyboard before the black metal hits in its tremolo picking glory mixed with blastbeasts. Thankfully, the production is excellent so everything can be heard. The music is not just raw, straightforward armageddon-bred black metal though. One can hear lots of melody within the buzzing guitars and hammering drums; in fact one could compare this musical style to Belphegor, a death metal band from Austria. While sometimes the drums may feel like they are emenating waves and waves of distortion along with the guitars, the vocals tend to stay on top in their desolate roar that is purely demonic.

Most of the tracks tend stay full throttle like the first one, but some change their tune every once in a while. "En mon âme et conscience" has an excellent rock based rhythm with even a bit of blackened punk thrash ala Darkthrone when it comes to the guitars. It thankfully slows the music down a bit and strips away some of the distortion, which listeners may feel gets too chaotic at times. "Loi Martiale" has as much chaos as the other tracks, but feels more downtuned and a bit slower, letting the chaotic side almost feel like depressive metal with how it drags along, using the distortion to its advantage in the rhythms rather than against it. The vocals tend to let out these crackling, gutteral snarls which are very effective, and there is even a horn section too. Finally there is the purely driven keyboard funeral hymn "0" which is a hidden track, but the best way to close the album, especially to a war themed based album such as this.

The lyrics are entirely in French so there may be a language barrier, but black metal fans should eat this up, and any who enjoy war themes that are centered in the WW1 or WW2 era along the lines of bands like God Dethroned or Hail Of Bullets. One could even tell there is a bit of Marduk here, although their fascinations are with the Black Plague. Either way, the album is certainly an enjoyable one, and a promising foretelling of what is to come in the next few years or so.

  1. Le regard du pendu
  2. Les psaumes d'Iscariote (Livre I : Le pardon du pendu)
  3. Du sang sur les mains
  4. En mon âme et conscience
  5. Le réveil du pendu
  6. En marche sur nos terres
  7. Loi Martiale
  8. Les psaumes d'Iscariote (Livre II : Mes ailes ne brûleront plus)
  9. En préparant l'assaut...
  10. L'aube de cristal
  11. 0

De Tenebrarum Principio
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Jan 19, 2011

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