Review by Vladimir on May 27, 2023.
Well, I guess today’s a fine opportunity to tackle something a bit different and a bit more hardcore when it comes to the overall style of black metal. The band in question is France’s Moonreich, which released their fifth full-length album Amer on May 12th via Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions. Although I am unfamiliar with this band and their previous works, I decided to give it a shot and go completely bare bones on this one and see if I could find something to my liking.
Moonreich’s musical work is anything but traditional black metal, heading for a somewhat unconventional songwriting approach that is simultaneously modern and dynamic. There are very aggressive downtuned guitar riffs that are either tremolo picking or mid-tempo downpicking, while the drums are often doing blast beats or double-bass drumming. One more unconventional trait are the shouting vocals which lean a lot more on the metalcore side, creating a whole different dimension to this entire experience. The songwriting in general is pretty unusual in sense that it feels somewhat a mix of styles be it progressive, melodic, alternative or hardcore, almost to the point where you’re unable to tell what kind of black metal this is. Songs are also very lengthy, but not just because of their overall length, rather in their arrangements that make the songs sound as if they’re 10 minutes long even when they’re not. I admit that this is a bit of personal nitpicking, but the general problem is that the songs just feel like they’re going for too long because of the overall song structure that doesn’t differentiate all that much from one song to another. Another point I’d like to add is that I found myself struggling so hard to focus on the music without losing attention. There are very interesting and enjoyable moments on the final track 'The Cave Of Superstition' which is around 13 minutes long, but yet it seems that I still couldn’t just let go of my mind when listening to the song. Just to clarify, I don’t mind long tracks at all, but I really like them when they’re able to hold your constant attention from start to finish in order to make you feel unaware of how long the song has been going. Production-wise it does sound very high quality, the guitars and bass sound heavy, the drums sound pretty thick, and even the vocal mix is top notch.
I personally think that this album is rather okay but best suited for a different kind of audience that just doesn’t include me. It’s not a bad album per se, but it’s definitely something that people like me will have a hard time enjoying, even when there are certain moments that sound good. Feel free to check it out if you’re interested, but I personally am not in a mood to give this one another go.
Rating: 6.3 out of 101.40k