Ars Manifestia – Il Mattino della Follia1st May 2023
WeissRavana – Awakening of the Ancient Blood4th May 2023
Label: Les Acteurs De l'Ombre / Release Date: 12th May 2023
Moonreich is a French Black Metal band, one that has been around since 2008 and who has been on my personal radar since they released the excellent album ‘Pillars Of Detest’ back in 2015. Back then they proved to be a somewhat well-established band in their homeland, albeit quickly clawing their way into international recognition (from my point of view at least). The sheer aggression on display was just the way I like it for a modern Black Metal act: Relentless, heavily distorted, fast-paced and teeming with raw anger, seemingly fueled, in no small part, by the themes of war and desolation that the vocalist bellows out.
This approach stuck with the band up through their career and future releases, right up until the most recent one – Entitled Amer, the french word for ‘Bitter’, which carries on the strong tradition laid forth in the four Full-lengths and three EP’s that came before it.
Nothing is completely as it always was, however – At least, as far as I can discern, the duo has leaned a bit more into the more punkish roots of modern Black Metal yet retaining the clear mixing and modern production styles, giving the overall album a strong feel of being not only angry, but dirty as well, with almost a Grindcore-like feel at times. And it works quite well, with the massive amount of energy spread across all five albums easily filling up my living room several times over.
As with most bands that have been around for a while, the overall sound does tend to shift ever so slightly, for whatever reason – Iron Maiden comes to mind as a good, relatively relevant example, where their music has gotten slower paced and somewhat more mellow as time went on to better accomodate the shifting vocal range of the lead singer as well as the overall direction of the band. Something slightly similar seems to be the case here, with Moonreich making small adjustments from their previous records to this one, albeit not as drastically as the example above – More than anything, it comes across as a band that has gotten even more disillusioned with the world and vents the pent-up hostility through faster, grittier and more menacing records. Something I am so far thoroughly enjoying, and is only further inspiring me to continue on my quest to get my grubby hands on what few releases of this contemporary Black Metal band that I am still missing.
Of the five tracks present on Amer, I will have to admit to having fallen most for the title track (hence one of the reasons to why that is the one that is linked to at the bottom of this rant) – That being said however, I would still recommend listening to all forty-three minutes of the record since, as I have just spent just above half a page trying to defend, Moonreich never disappoints.
Recommended for fans of Au-Dessus and Regarde Les Hommes Tomber.