Review by Tomek on December 28, 2018.
When package with “Return To” address of Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions arrived in my mailbox, it put a big smile on my face. So far, all releases from those Frenchmen were nothing but well produced, innovative and stirring pieces of musical art demanding attention and utter focus because of how dense and complex they were. Moonreich’s Fugue is no different, bringing 7 songs of very modern and fantastically stimulating black metal lasting close to 54 minutes. Moonreich has 2 EP’s and 4 full length albums in their discography with Fugue being their latest, released sometime in June. I am not familiar with their past catalogue, but after listening to Fugue for the last couple of weeks I am very much interested in where all this comes from and what was it in the beginning. I’m probably going to explore their catalogue a little more in the future but at this point in time, let’s focus on Fugue.
This is one of those albums that take multiple listens just to discover that it needs to be listened to and explored even more - to realize how much potential it has. First thing I noticed was how ‘clean’ and accessible the sound is. With how busy and musically demanding the whole album is, how much it transforms and how many elements it brings in each and every song and in every passing minute - it is all there, right in front, ready to flow into your ears. With as many times as I’ve listened to it, I never got tired of it because I had to find something or needed to dig deeper, because it’s all RIGHT THERE. “Amazingly recorded and mixed” is an understatement. I attribute a huge part of how painless it is to listen to all those 6 or more minute compositions to how it’s presented. Superbly done job on that part gentlemen! While saying that, I’d like to say that Fugue, with all the progressiveness and unpredictability that it offers, stays consistent in its aggressiveness. From the first moments of ‘Fugue Part 1: Every Time She Passes Away’ to the last notes of ‘The Things behind the Moon’ this album is packed with incredible riffs that aim to stick with you even though some of them want to get there by mincing you into a pulp. Tremolo picked guitar lines with the tempo shifting signatures and progressions cut through time and space being greatly accompanied by a typhoon of energy represented here by the rhythm section. Rumble of ever changing, merciless drum beats and clinging thickly bass lines fill it with demolishing energy and groove moving forward with scary precision. No need for synthesizers or orchestration in here so all the melodies and atmosphere is created through riffs, drums and completed by raspy growls that seem to reach way deep inside looking to ignite the flame of attraction in anyone that listens. Music on Fugue is multi layered and angry, it’s encrusted with rage and it’s furious; so it will appeal not only to black and death metal fans, but most probably to guys that also look for progressive and ‘post’ experience either black or hardcore.
Moonreich spun in my player for quite a long time and I’m sure I’ll come back to it in a while. I found it to be one of those albums that I can’t stay away from and one of those albums that just keep on giving. If any of you are interested in an album that moves music a step forward and is a passionate example of fine songwriting with rhythms that can’t get out of your mind or melodies that stick with you - I recommend this one to you. Buying it in a physical format is also a treat, since it came out on awesomely released digibook with very intriguing artwork throughout and all the lyrics printed. I would love to recommend some songs here, but Fugue is simply incredible to me - so just listen to the whole thing and give it a chance to reveal itself.
Rating: 9 out of 10