MEURTRIÈRES – Ronde De Nuit
Gates Of Hell Records
Release Date: 25/08/2023
Running Time: 34:08
Review by Victor Augusto
After a long winter full of chaotic and traumatic moments these last few months (which we Brazilians call “one more regular day in this land”), I am finally back with my nonsense thoughts about music. Thanks for all the claps coming from the great number of zero people happy about it! However this sabbatical period has changed my personality, for sure it has NOT changed my good sense of bands to review. But if you want to know why I picked this French Metal band, the reason is quite simple. My desire to hear something that goes straight to the heart of what we call pure Heavy Metal.
If you got confused by my explanation, don’t worry, because I always do too. Well, let me express how I felt hearing the song ‘Rubicon’, the first single available before the album release, and also the opening song of this album. It starts with a good and heavy riff until everything explodes in what we could describe as the best that classic Heavy Metal from the eighties could offer. The experience keeps surprising your ears with a beautiful female voice, full of emotions, without letting the aggressiveness decrease. And what about good guitar work, harmonies and melodies? They are all there too. I could easily end my review here, because what I described in my experience over one track is quite the same for the entire album, but MEURTRIÈRES has much more to offer.
The lyrics are all in their native language and it adds an extra loveliness over the musicality of the band. Despite the fact that I couldn’t understand any words of the French language, the band amazingly explains that: “The lyrical subject matter on “Ronde De Nuit” still spans the medieval domain but with increased emphasis on paintings by Rembrandt (The Night Watch) and Johann Heinrich (Füssli). The band aimed to make the songs “pictorial,” reflecting imaginary portraits to draw in the listener. Except for ‘Aucun Homme, Aucun Dogme, Aucune Croix’ (which is a known French medieval legend about a real woman), the songs on Ronde De Nuit are based on fantasy with a desired fate: all the depicted characters are doomed to tragedy, for in the world of MEURTRIÈRES, there is no such thing as crowned kings and queens, or even glorious warriors”.
Musically, the first impression I had was something like Judas Priest or Saxon on their early albums. Even the recording production had a more organic and raw sound, like the bands from that decade. Maybe it’s a suicidal commercial way to record an album, especially a debut album, but I had the impression that MEURTRIÈRES was thinking in an old sonority to increase the sensation and themes of the medieval period. Maybe it really was their idea, maybe I am just nuts to think about it (maybe both)!
I also really enjoyed ‘Tempête & Naufrage’, with a wall of heaviness created by the two guitarists Flo Spector and Olivier, allying with Xavier’s powerful bass lines. This song has Fiona giving her best vocal performance and let me not forget the great drum fills from Thomas. It is just one example of how the musicians here are very well connected in terms of compositions, where all members could show off their abilities. ‘Alma Mater’ is another example of how the band put their maximum effort to express all the feelings the music asks for.
The short 34 minutes length of the album makes everything easy to digest, and it also brings the feeling of the old albums and their short endurance to be fit in a vinyl format. The only difference I felt is the fact that they don’t have that “B-side” with songs less relevant than the first ones of an album. The entire album is great, and it won’t bore you after 3 or 4 tracks. For a debut album, “Ronde De Nuit” is a brilliant way to show the world this powerful band! Congratulations to this French band.
‘Rubicon’ Official Audio
02. Aucun Homme, Aucun Dogme, Aucune Croix
03. Tempête & Naufrage
04. Ronde De Nuit
05. Alma Mater
06. Chevaleresses Du Chaos
07. La Revenante
Fiona – Vocals
Flo Spector – Guitar
Olivier – Guitar
Xavier – Bass
Thomas – Drums
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