Moonreich is a French black metal band formed in Paris in 2008. The band currently consists of the founding member Arthur “Weddir” and bassist Guillaume “Siegfried”. Guitarist Thomas and drummer Jordan are also listed as musicians on the latest album. The French black metal act has released four albums and two EPs prior to their latest offering, AMER.
AMER is a direct follow-up to the 2018 album Fugue. The album was released the 12th of May on Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions on both CD and vinyl. The production label informsthat heavy, sinister and experimental atmospheres are to be expected on the album.
As someone who had never heard Moonreich before, I went in blindly, not knowing what to expect. After a few seconds into the first track, and hearing those powerfull vocals, I knew that this album was straight up my alley. Here is my review.
The albums runtime is 43 minutes and includes five songs, a perfect length in my opinion.
A suspenseful piece of classic music opens the first track luring me in and grabbing my attention. Suddenly the sound starts to pick up and a brutal wall of drums and guitars punches me in the face. This is nicely followed up by a scream before the vocals shoots in on rapid-fire. There’s no hiding that this is heavily influenced by the hardcore music scene, with its heavy instruments and furious vocals. The song offers a brief releaf with a mid-tempo speed before a groovy riff hooks the listener in again towards the songs ending.
The entire album has an intense presence of anger. The second track amplifies this by going straight up in the listeners face from the beginning. The experimental elements of the album are highly visible on this track. Particularly with its mid-track breakdown, typical of the core subgenres. However, this breakdown suits the music well and leads into a very catchy riff that feels a lot like something you would find on a Gojira album. Towards the end of the track, there’s a change of tone. A longing sadness creeps up on me here, heavily created by the guitars.
- Of Swine and Ecstasy
- Where We Sink
- Astral Jaws
- The Cave of Superstition
Upon my first listen of the third song, I was struck by a profound sense of heartache that seemed to permeate the entire track. The melody reminded me of the theme song of Davy Jones by Hans Zimmer, for those familiar with that piece. “Where We Sink” begins with this hint of heartache, but quickly intensifies and accelerates. It’s as if the rage is a direct result of the underlying sadness in the song. This track showcases the band’s ability to create both brutal and beautiful music in a thought-provoking manner, and it truly captures the raw emotion of heartache.
“Astral Jaws” starts with a spaceship-like feeling and transitions into a fast-paced track. The drummer’s skills really stand out to me on this piece. While it may not be the strongest track on the album, it’s still a very well performed piece. The outro of the song is what really lifts it up, with its beautiful guitar solo shining and creating a melancholic vibe. Overall, “Astral Jaws” showcases the band’s versatility and musicianship, even if it’s not the standout track of the album.
“The Cave of Superstition” is the final and longest track on the album. It starts off slower than the others, but quickly tightens up with brutal drums, rumbling guitars, and intense vocals. The track features a multitude of sections, including a churchy girl choir, bongo drums, and heavy grooves. At the 4:30 mark, an uplifting guitar kicks in and switches the track’s tone, before a long scream ends this part.
Moonreich does an excellent job of holding the listener’s attention with this song, thanks in part to the experimental sections that surprisingly complement the rest of the track. During the ending of the song, the stunning guitar solo really stands out, and all instruments come together to create a wonderful harmony. Together, they mark the end of an album that Moonreich can be extremely proud of.
To truly get a feel for this album, I highly recommend listening to the track “Amer.” This song encapsulates everything that Moonreich and their fantastic album have to offer. It features the aggressive blackened hardcore sound, a nasty breakdown, and brutal vocals. Packed with groovy and catchy riffs, “Amer” captures the melancholic tone that is present throughout the album, conveying a sense of sadness or heartache. Overall, “Amer” is an excellent representation of the unique and powerful sound that defines this album.
This is an amazing album that lures you in and keeps you engaged throughout its entirety. I really enjoyed listening to this and multiple of these great songs has found their way onto my private playlist. The album solidifies their labels statement of being heavy, sinister and experimental, creating both brutal sound walls and calmer melancholic tunes.
I highly recommend this album for any fans of aggressive black metal who also appreciate the hardcore aspect of it and the slower more melancholic parts.
I had never heard Moonreich before, but they have definently left their mark with this stunning release. I will certainly check out their earlier albums!
Bandcamp: AMER | Moonreich
Facebook: MOONREICH | Facebook
Instagram: moonreich @moonreich.official
Metal Archives: Moonreich – Encyclopaedia Metallum
Have you listened to this album? Let us know in the comments below what you think, and join our discord where we discuss all things black metal! Make sure to follow our facebook page blackmetalpromotion.com to recieve notifications when we publish articles.