Ars Gallica

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(Purity Through Fire, 2019)

Karakter: 4.5/6

Neptrecus_ArsGallica.jpgThe 3rd full length from the French atmospheric black metallers is a powerful and skillful, fairly original testament of their might and creativity somewhere between Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Dark Tranquillity, Opeth, old Katatonia and early Deceased, but they are remarkably inconsistent, with songs ranging from good to great.

Neptrecus, currently featuring Svarga (vocals, guitars), Kryos (drums), Tancrède (guitars) and Witart (bass), formed in 2011, debuting with the eponymous demo followed by "L'Aube Du Déclin" LP (2013), "Frères De Sang" LP (2015), "La Mort Des Peuples" EP (2018) before finally releasing, this here, "Ars Gallica" last month. Lyrically (since I don't speak French and the lyrics are sung entirely in that language) I can deduce from the cover and the title, Neptrecus waxes patriotic and legendary, while musically they recall Dimmu Borgir's "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" with Opeth-ian transitions a'la "Porcelain Heart" (Soyons Terribles Pour Dispenser Le Peuple De L'être), Dark Tranquillity's "The Mind's I" (Fidelitas), and the first 2 Dissections (Retour Aux Sources), while "Aux Grands Hommes La Patrie Reconnaissante" is reminiscent of ancient Katatonia. All the instruments and the execution are tight and the production powerful and detail-oriented.

While Neptrecus are good to great songwriters, some of the songs are kept in the same vein without the necessary progression of "Soyons Terribles..." or "Messager De L'oubli", such as the average opener, "Notre Berceau", which reminds me of old Deceased. It begs the question why some songs can be near-flawless, such as "Fidelitas" while other aren't so.

Neptrecus is an interesting and fairly original ensemble and "Ars Gallica" is nothing to sneeze at, but I would like to hear more progression on its follow-up.


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