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Back to the roots?! - 76%

nilgoun, December 18th, 2011

The intro tries to suggest, that this record will feature ambient black metal, as spherical synthesizer sounds are introduced. The body of sound could remind you of some “space” metal, like the lately released Alpha Eri of Alrakis. Just when you started to look forward to those trancelike sounds, you get a boot right into your face, as the transition between the intro and the next song Le triomphe des douze is quite harsh and unexpected. The only thing, that really is clear at this point, is the fact that this record will go back to the roots and therefore feature this Métal Noir Québécois style.

This means, that the record mostly features oldschool black metal, which follows the well-trodden paths in terms of orchestration and structures. Tremolo picked guitars are accompanied by doublebass-attacks, mid-tempo blast beats and quite subtle, resounding vocals. There aren’t much riffs played per song, but that isn’t really surprising as this record clearly follows the footsteps of their debut, but as there is a lack of variation the songs seem to be too long and monotonous some times. Although they often tend to become boring they usually turn the corner and pop another riff or variation that manages to catch your attention. You have to emphasize that their riffs are usually high-class or at least upper-intermediate and therefore manage to be quite entertaining over a long time – compared to many 08/15 bands that are out there.

Sadly, there is nearly nothing (new) left to explore besides those good riffs. The songs reside on the aforementioned pattern without being strong enough to put you in extase/trance. The only thing left worth to be mentioned are the scattered samples Forteresse used to spice things up. For instance the beginning of La lame du passé features some country/folk song on a public fair and the song ends with some heavy gust of wind that carries you to the next song in which some heavy riffs are played. This moments are the highlight of the record, but they could have been a bit more innovative or at least varied, as the intro of Spectres des solstice is exactly the same as La lame du passé. The production is quite filthy and therefore everything is a bit dull, but this goes nicely with the records theme.

Conclusion:

Forteresse surely didn’t release a masterpiece with this record, but it’s far from bad either. The melodies are well composed and are able to catch your attention, but as they are reproduced so often the tracks tend to become boring after a while. There should have been more variation in terms of songstructures or melodies – or at least less playing time per track as the tracks would have been more exciting and therefore the record could have been above average. If you liked Métal Noir Québécois you should like this one as well, fans of their ambient record should give it a try, although they could be dissappointed.

Originally written for http://threnodies.com