Somewhere in the course of the last twenty years, the nation of France full-on patented Black Metal. I mean that literally. Ever since the rise of Les Legions Noire in the early 90's, the French scene has continued to produce some of the finest acts in the genre's history such as Mutiilation, Glorior Belli, Merrimack, Deathspell Omega, and most recently the likes of Peste Noire and Lantlos. The beautiful thing about this particular scene is that each band seems to have their own, unique and very distinctive sound.
This brings us to the band in question for this review. Moonreich is yet another in a long line of quality Black Metal bands to hail from France. However, for the most part, their sound is influenced far more by the Scandinavian scene than that of their own country. Their full length debut, Loi Martiale, is 57 minutes of Dissection-influenced black metal with a penchant for strong melodies, as well as a love and appreciation for bleak atmospheric passages.
In that sense, this is quality. However, at nearly an hour in length, Loi Martiale can be rather tedious at times. All over this album, you will find extremely interesting and very well-executed parts, but in the grand scheme of things, those parts do not make for interesting songs as a whole. Songs like the title track, as well as "Du Sang Sur Les Mains" could have been easily cut from the album and made songs such as "Le Regard Du Pendu" and "L'aube De Cristal" stand out more.
The bottom line is that this is a good record. By no means is it bad, or even subpar. Quite simply, the album simply suffers from an overabundance of decent material and a lack of truly great material. Although, with this being their first LP, Moonreich has plenty of time to perfect their art and turn it into something powerful.
1 - Le regard du pendu : 4:19
2 - Les psaumes d'Iscariote (Livre I : Le pardon du pendu) : 4:19
3 - Du sang sur les mains : 4:36
4 - En mon âme et conscience : 5:41
5 - Le réveil du pendu : 5:49
6 - En marche sur nos terres : 5:04
7 - Loi Martiale : 4:04
8 - Les psaumes d'Iscariote (Livre II : Mes ailes ne brűleront plus) : 4:31
9 - En préparant l'assaut... : 6:14
10 - L'aube de cristal : 6:50
11 - 0 : 5:34