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Effervescent and compelling - 92%

Felix 1666, September 10th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Sepulchral Productions

Dear friends, you are entering Quebec. Anthemic, triumphant lines which are skilfully combined with blast beats welcome the listener as soon as the intro gives way to the first regular track. Forteresse leave their individual scent right from the get-go. They get down to the nitty-gritty in a matter of seconds and their total passion is very well expressed by the formidable melodies that they offer. Yet do not think of pleasant harmonies that have the potential to enthuse the mainstream metal audience. Regardless of the band's affinity for fairly melodic lines, this is an extremely harsh album at the same time. No doubt, the musicians are on a good way in order to realize their artistic vision. The stylish artwork does not promise too much.

Frequently enough, one discovers a new band whose music sounds like the songs of another formation. Or, another well-known symptom, a group appears as a melting pot of the selected style, because its compositions are completely generic. This is not bad per se, a lot of doubtlessly strong albums follow this strategy. Yet I guess an independent approach reflects the highest artistic skills. Forteresse do not look towards the left or towards the right, they follow their own instinct. The result is a fresh breeze that may revitalize some old warhorses of the scene. The melodic yet fiery approach and the high velocity form an exciting unit. This excitement is based on the band's excellent understanding of stirring leads. From my point of view, the musicians have forged brilliant black metal songs, while ambient elements are largely missing. No loss! Without doubt, the songs create an inflammatory atmosphere, but they have nothing in common with lame, keyboard dominated tunes of depressive whiners. The band with the separatist tendency is full of energy and its members know exactly how to transfer their restlessness to the wondering audience.

With regard to the title of the album, the rebellious character of the songs comes as no surprise. The introduction delivers an ominous scenario and six mind-blowing tracks follow. One sees burning barricades, desperate civilians, overstrained soldiers and unmanageable riots before the inner eye. The four-piece has penned a very homogeneous and compact six-pack, only the calming closer relies on a less belligerent concept. It seems as if the storm is over and both parties are counting their dead. Anyway, the six typical underground hymns reveal the pure brilliance of the formation. Indeed, authorities exist only in order to be abolished and Forteresse seem to have the right tools for this dangerous enterprise. And, by the way, the intelligently designed song material profits from the forceful production. I admit that I do not listen to songs with an immaculate sound. With regard to the slightly ill-defined snare drum, there is room for optimization. Furthermore, the guitars do not deliver a wall of sound, but they generate an aura of inexorability and that's the crucial factor. Without question, the guys of Forteresse are prepared for the revolution. Inter alia the thundering drums at the beginning of "Le Sang des héros" provide evidence in this context. But it is slightly misleading to pick out single songs - each and every of the six tracks between the intro and the closer unites enthusiasm, violence and musical cleverness in a glorious manner.

In 1998, the nervous cowards of the Supreme Court of Canada - or Cour suprême du Canada - have decided that no province has the right to declare its own independence. I hope that these champions of democracy are happy. Vice versa, the political goal of the here presented combat unit seems out of reach. Yet the music should be taken seriously, because these men of conviction make no compromise. Without the more or less atmospheric, rather inconspicuous last number, this album would have bordered on perfection. Yet it does not make sense to look for the fly in the ointment. Forteresse take the extreme metal scene by storm and I hope they have enough good ideas for further fanatic releases. I am optimistic. Idealists keep the fire burning, no matter what happens.