Paradise Lost – Icon 301st December 2023
Le Morte – Midnight In The Garden Of Tragedy11th December 2023
Label: Les Acteurs De l’Ombre / Release Date: 1st December 2023
Here, at the end of the year, in quite literally the darkest month, where I have already sent in to my superiors my list of the best releases of the year – Here, right at the cusp, RüYYn sees it fit to release their first ever Full-length album upon the world, one I have been eagerly expecting since the release of their self-titled EP two years ago.
As I believe I also commented on the last time the French one-man act graced my loudspeakers, the musician behind RüYYn is a man after my own heart: A single-minded individual with a strong grasp of the instruments under his thumb, a clear vision of what he hopes to create, and a coherent, easily deciphered naming and numbering style worthy og any concept album. Case in point, Chapter II: The Flames, The Fallen, The Fury, aptly named so due to it being the second release from this particular moniker as well as most evidently an evolved, matured even, version of its predecessor. Now claiming that it makes the prior EP redundant would be a flat-out lie (thankfully art rarely works in such a manner), but still it clearly comes across that Romain, the multi-talented musician behind RüYYn, has tasted proverbial blood and wants more – On top of that, he has broadened his approach, making his sound more encompassing of modern Black Metal as a whole, while at the same time staying true to the core tenets that he has shaped his particular sound around. And while it may not be a concept album in the traditional sense (as seen very prominently among their kinsmen The Great Old Ones for instance), the record still makes it abundantly clear that its tracks are meant to be played in quick succession one after another, with only the small outros between tracks as mental preparation for the continued onslaught. Case in point: Instead of names, each track is merely numbered after its chronological position on the album, such as “Part I”, “Part II” and soforth, all the way up to “Part VI”. And while I have no doubt in my mind that you could jumble up the order of the tracks in any way you damn well pleased, I personally would not venture into doing so – The ongoing story told through the (English) lyrics are delivered with a strangely clear and coherent growl, taking centre stage as the record piles on the story, the setting, the relentless drums and ever-flowing guitars.
Forty-two and a half minutes of modern Black Metal, worthy of fans of Au-Dessus, Moonreich and the French Black Metal stage as I have had the pleasure of experiencing it.