Jumping to the progressive black metal side of things, French underground band Ars Moriendi has recently released their new album entitled "Du Trefonds d'un Etre." Wicked growls and insane drum rolls really take this record to the next level. The album is only five tracks long, but these tracks run for a pretty long time.
The first song off of the album is "Jadis..." which runs for over 12 minutes long. However, the first two of those minutes are really just an intro with soft guitar notes mixed with lots of different sound effects in the background. All you hear is a horse pulling what sounds to be like a wagon of some sort. Once this is done, monstrous guitar riffs come blaring into the picture with harsh growling vocals in the verse. The guitars are very progressive throughout the song, as a lot of the melodies repeat for quite some time in between verses. Fast kick and snare patterns roll in violently, containing complex drum fills that pound away at you. The song structure frequently changes, keeping you hooked the entire time. The tempo jumps up and down while instruments come and go. There are some humming vocals later in the song with Arabic tones as they are layered with eerie guitar riffs. There are even some heavy guitar parts where you're gonna want to bob your head to the chugging riffs. So much as been thrown at you already, and you're not even passed the first track yet.
The next track to follow is "Ghost" which, I have to say, is a 12 minute masterpiece. The beginning starts with haunting strings that float through the air softly as soothing guitars play gently in the background. You become consumed into the strings as you'll find them to be played in such a passionate way. Eventually, heavy chugging guitars come barreling in with demonic vocals and rumbling bass. The drums get right to work with impressive fills mixed with rapid snares and cymbals that crash in all directions. Standing still is not an option as the relentless guitar riffs constantly blast through with heavily added distortion. About half way through the song, all of the instruments fade out and a beautiful piano builds its way into the mix. This gives the song a real beauty and the beast type of feel as it switches back to the heavy riffs and exploding drums. The guitar work is incredible towards the end, as devilish vocals are set on top of them. Cymbals are crashing from left to right and the snare and toms are brutally beaten with detailed patterns. The song slowly comes to an end as more eerie humming echoes over soft the guitar notes.
"Entre les deux Royaumes" is a very slow song that contains lots of demonic strings layered on top of one another as light guitar riffs play along side them. The key to this song that will really have you hooked is the bass throughout the track. The bass line provides a dark groovy sound to the mix as interesting synth sounds hover in the background. It definitely has this evil futuristic feel to the whole thing. Most of the lyrics in the song are whispered in a mysterious tone, however, the vocals do pick up a bit towards the middle of the song with some black metal screaming. The instruments stay the same though, keeping that dark sound from beginning to end.
Things really start to move again with "Mediocre Fin." The tempo is faster, the music is upbeat, and the guitars are on full blast with distortion. There is some strong devilish vocals delivered in the verses as guitars continue to chug away. The snare and kick pattern keeps you rocking your head to the beat through most of the song. The tempo changes a couple of times from fast to even faster as you're introduced to some ridiculous double bass drumming and quick guitar riffs with speedy melodies. It really changes up about half way through as deep piano keys come into the mix leaving an evil image to the song. More Arabic humming fades in the background as screechy guitars come flying back in. There is also an amazing guitar solo at the end, running up and down the musical scale like it's nothing. I found myself replaying this track a couple of times trying to catch all of the details.
"Du Trefonds d'un Etre" is the fifth and final track on the album. It's got a very slow start to it as you can barely hear light piano notes at first. They piano riffs eventually start to build with angelic melodies. Also light drums entire quietly in the background. About two and a half minutes in you are hit with deafening guitar riffs that become louder each and every time they repeat. This is only for a short time however. The piano steps back in as the other instruments drop out immediately. After a couple rounds of light piano work, the monstrous guitars come chugging back in again only this time they are accompanied by wild demonic vocals that echo through the air. Its parts like this that really grab you by the throat. Double bass pedals come in and out through the verse as the deep bass line continues to rumble underneath them. The vocals break out into a clean chant in the middle of the song which really set the tone. It was just what this album needed after all the heavy vocals and constant change between reckless guitars to gorgeous pianos. The song eventually fades with double bass blasting away then leads into a soft piano riff as the outro. This is such an incredible song.
Ars Moriendi does a great job in delivering the mix of progressive metal and black metal in one. You can definitely hear some Opeth and Burzum influences throughout the album. Clashing these sounds together really kept them on their own level. Definitely check out "Du Trefonds d'un Etre." It's an album you won't want to miss!
Official Site - http://arsmoriendi.free.fr/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/arsmor