Feu Gregeois - _Mortis Regnum - 2nd Circle_
(Heaume Productions, 2010)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
All keyboard-driven metal bands should take a lesson or two from Feu Gregeois (Greek Fire, in French), before even thinking of incorporating this tool into their music. After all, not everyone is Xytras from Samael -- or Wuthan, Feu Gregeois' keyboard master, for that matter. The main difference between, let's say, Samael's _Passage_ and _Mortis Regnum_ in terms of keyboards usage lies within the fact Samael used them interlaced into the music, inseparable from the main musical theme of each song, while Feu Gregeois uses keyboards as a different entity altogether, somewhat removed from the metal ingredient and mainly being utilized as long, bombastic, neoclassical introductions, sometimes as standalone tracks and sometimes as preludes or track finales. Sure, you may hear a key here and there while the guitars roar, but these bits and pieces are easily overshadowed by the sheer noble magnificence of the longer, medieval-flavored, dark tunes.

Basically, you can neglect the metallic part of the band's latest effort _Mortis Regnum - 2nd Circle_ (short version of the title is known as being just _2nd Circle_), and although the heavy, dark, black metal oriented doom-ish death metal on display isn't half bad (and echoes older, early death metal bands), it isn't spectacular either, especially in comparison to the above mentioned keyboard parts. You cannot escape the notion this could have been a bad-ass neoclassical effort, had these damn distorted guitars not interfered!

This is a good, enjoyable album, intelligently composed and craftily executed, on all accounts. When listening, don't forget it's actually a metal album; these mesmerizing keys tend to make you oblivious to that fact.

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

(article published 31/10/2010)

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