Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

a oui oui oui - 77%

caspian, December 2nd, 2016

The themes may be goofy (Quebecois nationalism? What next, Wyoming separatism? Tasmanian pride? Frankfurt becoming a city state??) but the music here is pretty good. Forteresse perhaps don't have a classic on their hands but they sure know how to write a strong, energetic, powerful black metal album, that's for sure.

As far as I can tell the ingredients are pretty simple- a fair bit of 2nd wave riffing style, a pinch of norsecoreish bombast and blast, coupled with an excellent sense of the epic that the greek scene is known for. It's not a particularly complex thing, but that's fine because it works so well- this fast, unrelenting storm of riots, energy, gunfire and bitter conflict. Needless to say it's very evocative. As a general rule I listen to albums a few times before I research them- it's often interesting to see how impression from a "blank slate" listen correspond to what the band is actually trying to say- and here they really nail it.

It's just a passionate, warlike, fierce album- all these big tremolo picked melodies floating over the top of some furiously impassioned vocals and a drum battery that would give Marduk a decent run for their money. Credit must go to the band and to those who recorded it- you can really smell the buildings burning as the rebellion spreads; it's just this crisp, cracking, a-grade mix, and the vocalist sounds huge.

But it's not a perfect album. The songs certainly blend into one another fairly quickly and you get the feeling that things would be better if at a few points Forteresse embraced their epic side a bit more and built a few tracks with more of a narrative structure. I'm not necessarily talking fruity folk parts (which apparently these guys were guilty of in the past- it's a relief there's little here, short of a tastefully done outro), just perhaps a few more tempo changes and a bit more sense of build in the tracks; it's hard to go too many places when everything's blasting away right from the get go.

Honestly though that's not a huge problem; it's still a very fun album and I can see it at the very least going on my gym playlist for a fair while. Well worth it if you want some nice, spicy black metal.

(originally written for www.thepitofthedamned.com)