Title: The Ghosts of Amour Propre
Label: Black Theta
Style: Post Black Metal
Anyway you look at it, Greece is a fascinating country. Mesmerizing landscapes, warm people, a thousands of ages old civilization which has influenced the entire world, a fascinating and known over the world mythology, as well as a very rich culture - this realm was blessed to have everything anyone could ever dream of. Its spirit continues to enchant, as anything coming from this country seems to radiate its bewitching beams into the minds of people all over the world. The same can be said about the Black Metal coming from this country: Hellenic Black Metal is known and very much appreciated all over the world, proudly represented by bands which can easily headline any Extreme Metal festival.
Recently, better said, three years ago, this very strong scene has sprouted a band which stands out through its innovative and original sound, a very fortunate mixture of Post-Metal, Second Wave, Traditional Greek BM, and even Doom Metal.
Referring to themselves as ,,Experimental Black Metal’’, Moeror is a Greek Black Metal band formed in 2018 consisting of four members: vocalist X, who also handles vocal duties in Greek BM band Human Serpent, guitarists Giannis and Kostis, who also handle guitars in Greek Black Metal band Nekkar, as well as bassist Nodas, who is also in charge with the bass guitar duties in Nekkar.
Since their foundation, Moeror have released two studio materials: an EP called ,,Sag’’, in 2019, as well as a full length album, ,,The Ghosts of Amour Propre’’, in 2020.
Their sound is very innovative, the band saying about the combination of various styles of extreme metal: ,,the goal was to create music in our own terms, without any drawbacks concerning black metal clichés and rules’’.
The Ghosts of Amour Propre was released on the 25th of November, 2020 by their own label, Black Theta. It has seven songs and a total length of 36 minutes. From the recording to the mixing, the album was produced almost entirely by the band, who wanted to be involved in music production as much as they could.
The album’s cover, representing two tall concrete buildings with no windows, perpendicular to each other, with one of the buildings shaded by the other, is a symbol of the feelings of implacability, coldness and disconnection of the city, or, in the band’s own words:
,,The towering buildings in the cover represent for us the crushing of humanity’s spirit under the weight of their own lives. Every day, for most people, is lived under the shadow of the city. We wanted something that captures this feeling of being trapped under mundanity.’’
Song titles such as ,,Urban Nihilism’’, ,,Youth In Naphtha’’ (,,naphtha’’ being a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture), ,,Cluster of Trillion Egos’’, ,,The Ghosts of Amour Propre’’ or ,,Others’’ suggest feelings of isolation and estrangement, of the selfishness, madness and lack of humanity of the modern world which destroys any form of kindness, compassion or tolerance toward the other.
X, who is also the band’s songwriter, has decided to put these feelings into Greek lyrics, believing ,,that the directness of one’s native language is the absolute way of reaching the pinnacle of expression regarding the dark sides of the soul and the subconscious.’’
Translated from Greek, the lyrics are extremely expressive, true poems depicting the loneliness and alienation of the mundane life.
Even the name of the band itself, meaning ,,grief’’ in Latin, represents the madness and oppression of the modern world.
The music is a very original and interesting combination of different styles of Extreme Metal, such as Black, Post-Black, Second Wave and even Doom, yet without belonging to any of these styles. This mixture is blended perfectly and becomes its own entity, a style which cannot be defined because it has not existed until them.
X’s vocals give life to the deep introspection into a tormented soul, filled with despair, loneliness, isolation, longing for human warmth, for truth and for freedom.
Interspersed with gentle keyboard notes and ravaged by merciless guitar riffs, this album is an emotional rollercoaster, a mixture of undefined emotions creating a desolating, yet paradoxically fascinating landscape.
Through its innovative and distinctive sound, ,,The Ghosts of Amour Propre’’ paints a fascinating canvas of murky and oppressive emotions, a very accurate depiction of the urban life.
Moeror surely have a lot to say through their music, and hopefully we will hear more from this very talented band!
Reviewed by Silvia and Bryant Shelby