When both musical and visual artwork of utmost quality collide, a big bang results in massive proportions and one of the causers for such spectacular happenings is once again Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions from France.  This French label introduced to me several bands that took part in SBM sampler vol. 2 and in today’s installment, I would like to present you one of them – the mighty Moonreich.

If there’s one thing that I already know for sure about Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, their trademark is experimental black metal and mindblowing artworks. As soon as I got my hands on Moonreich’s third full-length “Pillars of Detest”, I was stricken once more by the top-notch visual quality that is so hypnotic and moving to get infected with the content inside the package. In just about a couple of roundabouts, I could define the new Moonreich album as new age spiteful and obscure black metal terror. 

“Pillars of Detest” as a title depicts well the nature of the album as it reeks of detest from start to finish. Influence from traditional black metal is here and there but it is developed to a more complicated state giving more room for expression. In my point of view, Moonreich did not intend to transform the genre into something new and unheard before. In fact, it is a successful try in enriching the endless shades of it giving it one more reason to be considered as one of the most diverse sub-genre nowadays. 

Moonreich tackled what many others couldn’t in the production of an album of such caliber. Being rooted into the traditional state of black metal could instantly mean a poor sound quality and repetitiveness but good news is that none of these can be spotted here. “Pillars of Detest” brings to the listener a pinch of experimental sounding making it interesting to analyze every time. This is the time to say that we live in a golden age where the room for mediocrity is becoming narrower day by day because art is advacing extremely quickly. 

Speaking of high quality, I cannot emphasize enough how well the album was mixed, mastered and produced. There’s no loss of instrumental work nor vocals, which is why I could feel the menace of post-apocalyptic visions throughout the 49 minutes of dripping terror onto my senses. On the other hand, the artwork is yet another reason to buy the album simply because it is a masterpiece on its own. In this case, it is safe to say that “judging a book by its cover” fits the bill here because quality-wise, there is a perfect match.

“Pillars of Detest” was the album through which I found out Moonreich and I think I am fortunate to have started with it. It is an excellent album with a strong character that deserves a spot in the collection of a a die-hard extreme metal fan (self included). It is like a sketch that has been taken by a master painter turning it into a magnificent work. This is the sound of today’s traditional black metal. Listen to it!

MoonreichPillars of Detest
Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions, release: 19.09.2015
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1.  Ad Nauseam
2. Believe & Behead
3. Long Time Awaited Funeral
4. Sheïtan
5. Pillar of Detest – World Shroud
6. All Born Sick
7. Freikorps
8. Death Winged Majesty

Total running time: 49:25


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