Moonreich - Wormgod (EP)
Les Acteurs de L'Ombre
Black Metal
5 songs (22:26)
Release year: 2019
Les Acteurs de L'Ombre
Reviewed by Goat

Taking a step away from the warlike intensity of past releases, this EP from French blackguards Moonreich sees the band explore a more technical black metal sound not a million miles away from modern Mayhem, albeit much more melodic than the Norwegians. It's certainly enough to make for a compelling EP, the opening title track alone making for a muscular introduction to the band's sound. Moonreich are frequently compared to Marduk yet it seems an outdated reference given the various twists in the Swedes' sound lately; as That Swinging Noose shows, Moonreich are harder to categorise, indulging in riffs and violence but just as capable of atmospheric experiments. And as a whole, it results in a very entertaining if all too short release, four tracks of black metal hell and a cover to keep things interesting.

That opening title track is especially fun, riff-driven violence with a rabid vocal performance and enough changes (and a touch of Hypocrisy-esque melodic death metal to the lead guitars) to make for a terrific introduction, the aforementioned That Swinging Noose following with a groovier, proggier take on the band's blackened heaviness. And as solid as instrumental They Burn Without Wings is, the following To Crawl This World is better, the heaviest piece on the EP as it blasts along in the one real Mardukian section present before turning a little proggier and more melodic, like Shining if they turned the razorblade outwards rather than inwards. By the time closing Depeche Mode cover Broken rolls around, it's hard not to be impressed with the band, and it's a perfect choice, one of the new wave legends' later songs becoming utterly transformed as Moonreich replace the post-punk rhythms and synths of the original with blastbeats and blackened riffs, keeping the clean vocals to great results. Clean singing atop blastbeats nearly always seems to work wonderfully, and here it's revelatory, L having a more than Aaron Stainthorpe vibe to his clean singing that fits the backing atmospheric metal well and suggests that My Dying Bride taking the black would be tremendous! Still, despite being just a brief experiment for Moonreich it's a fun closer to a solid EP, one that black metal fans - and fans of France's ever-individualistic approach to the genre - will enjoy.

Killing Songs :
Wormgod, To Crawl This World, Broken
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Other albums by Moonreich that we have reviewed:
Moonreich - Curse Them reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Moonreich - Loi Martiale reviewed by Tony and quoted 94 / 100
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