Rating:
7.3
Feu Grégeois - Mortis Regnum - 2nd Circle
5 October 2010


01. Mortis Regnum
02. Bloodshed
03. Fragments Of The Past
04. Wind Of War
05. The Warlord
06. Templars
07. Ashes Of Dusk
08. Soldiers Of Faith
09. The Pride Of Twilight
11. Life Of Sin
11. Redemption


So class, before we start this semester's Feu Grégeois 201 course, let's review your notes from my colleague, Professor Collin's 101 course.

• The name means "Greek Fire," a kind of burning liquid used by the Byzantine empire during naval wars because water didn't extinguish it.
• Lyrics based on Crusades themes and their symphonic heavy death metal with atmospheres that nod to the likes of Bal-Sagoth.

Great. Now that we're up to speed, lets move along to the new material.

Mortis Regnum - 2nd Circle, their first full-length, sees the French band continue that approach. Don't think of it as symphonic death metal so much as symphonic and then death metal. It's not a blended approach, but one song is one style, the next… the other.

The symphonic pieces are fairly cinematic in scope… (Feu Grégeois of Fire... Wait, Greek Fire of Fire doesn't work… uh Rhapsody of Feu Grégeois?) They are inspirational and capture the imagination. You could visualize the armies of the Crusades marching off to war.

The metal portion of the project showcases a dual-vocalist approach. One style features the standard low end growling, while the secondary accent voice shows up in a higher register with a more screechy style. The band has a tendency to come up with some pretty good riffs with a decent groove, as well as let a few solos fly. They're also confident enough to occasionally let the guitar cut out and just let the bass and drums have a bit of a jam from time to time.

Ultimately, while the metal tunes are good, the problem is after the pomp, circumstance, and majesty of the symphonic pieces, the "regular" tunes seem almost anticlimactic. Whereas Emperor in Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk build up expectations with the opener, "Alsvartr," before they unleash Hell with "Ye Entrancemperium"… Feu Grégeois has the same build-up, then by comparison merely unleash Heck. Of course, Emperoris Emperor… and 99 bands out of 100 fall short in comparison. No shame in that.

It should also be of note that these styles are not my particular cup of sludgedoom coffee (black, of course, no creamer, thanks) - and I enjoyed the album. So fans of symphonic battle metal who want a little more muscle in their tunes than, say, Rhapsody Of Fire might find this right up their alley.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 7


Website: http://www.feu-gregeois.com


 



Written on 15.01.2011 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
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Mikyz - 15.01.2011 at 08:50  
I already listened to this when it was first released, I found the symphonic tracks to be much more grandiose then the Black Metal ones. Nevertheless this album is above average whether they're BM or Symphonic, it managed to impress me at times so it has some potential, there next record should be promising.
BitterCOld - 15.01.2011 at 09:05  
Written by Mikyz on 15.01.2011 at 08:50

I already listened to this when it was first released, I found the symphonic tracks to be much more grandiose then the Black Metal ones. Nevertheless this album is above average whether they're BM or Symphonic, it managed to impress me at times so it has some potential, there next record should be promising.


yeah, the symph stuff overshadowed the rest. collin called the metal DM on their last EP. to me it was somewhere in the grey area between a variety of subgenres. it was "extreme" without being really extreme, if you catch my draft. the grey area. at times it didn't do much, at other times i really liked the groove they had going... or at others the riff.

so it wasn't earthshattering, but it does reveal potential, definitely. just need to make the metal catch up to the symph stuff... and perhaps let it off the hook. make it a bit more chaotic at times, then shift into those grooves they get going. that will make the "heck of war" more "hellish!" ... and shifting from chaos to the cool grind grooves will make them that much, uh, groovier.

shame i couldn't come up with stuff during the review process. i guess knocking back the barley sodas one after another has shifted my focus.

still a good release, interesting amalgam of styles worth checking out. might not work for some, but will work for others.
Mikyz - 15.01.2011 at 10:11  
Written by BitterCOld on 15.01.2011 at 09:05

yeah, the symph stuff overshadowed the rest. collin called the metal DM on their last EP. to me it was somewhere in the grey area between a variety of subgenres. it was "extreme" without being really extreme, if you catch my draft. the grey area. at times it didn't do much, at other times i really liked the groove they had going... or at others the riff.

so it wasn't earthshattering, but it does reveal potential, definitely. just need to make the metal catch up to the symph stuff... and perhaps let it off the hook. make it a bit more chaotic at times, then shift into those grooves they get going. that will make the "heck of war" more "hellish!" ... and shifting from chaos to the cool grind grooves will make them that much, uh, groovier.

shame i couldn't come up with stuff during the review process. i guess knocking back the barley sodas one after another has shifted my focus.

still a good release, interesting amalgam of styles worth checking out. might not work for some, but will work for others.


In the interview I read he really stresses on the album being a mix between epic orchestrations and brutal music, but the BM/Extreme tracks are not as brutal as they mean them to be, they don't have a lasting impact on the listener contrary to the proficient orchestration. But I still prefer this to modern Symphonic Black, the record is very old school and successfully build the desired medieval atmosphere. I'd take this over any of your average metal acts any day, because I don't see anyone not appreciating at least one aspect of their music whether it's the music or their lyrics about the crusades.
Merchant of Doom - 15.01.2011 at 12:20  
According to their website, 2nd Circle has only 11 tracks... 1st Circle has 13... very strange... but I enjoyed the album.
BitterCOld - 15.01.2011 at 19:07  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 15.01.2011 at 12:20

According to their website, 2nd Circle has only 11 tracks... 1st Circle has 13... very strange... but I enjoyed the album.


good catch. i wasn't looking at the jewelcase, but another metal site when compiling the track list for this. that'll teach me.

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