Review Summary: Overall, Ecclesia is an intriguing yet innovative listen that should be enjoyed by anyone fond of eerie rhythms and atmosphere.
If one knew what the term Borgia meant, they would not find it odd that a band with the aforementioned moniker would associate themselves with the phrase, “Deus Est machina, Suus Opifex Ecclesia” (God is a machine, his creator is the church.) Borgia-who was, arguably, the first mafia family-resided in Venice, Italy, and had influence upon the Pope. They even accomplished what the God Warrior couldn't, and became a part of the papal throne... twice. This is all in spite of the fact that the family were accused of being some serious felons. And because of this, the aforementioned phrase-which is located not on the band's website, but as a part of the album's packaging-is very suitable for a band by this name to use. However, the lack of praise that the French blackened-death metal outfit Borgia and their debut LP, Ecclesia
, is not.
Relatively unknown, Ecclesia
is a misanthropic potpourri of eclecticism. The instrumental side of Borgia is a polished, labyrinthine being that does not exhilarate the listener with tremendous technicality. It takes the road less traveled, and focuses more so on atmosphere and ominous melodies. Rather than compile a vapid collection of raging “hate songs”, the music on this album approaches auditory assault in a violent, yet intelligently dramatic way. The band can retain their own personality and sense of originality throughout, and, in subsequent event, they never become a bland, maudlin antic throughout any of the tracks.
"Le Bûcher des Vanités" begins the album on a high note with its intense structure. Black metal transitions coherently into a far more intense death metal style, spasmodic riffage and all. Whilst this track is discordance at its finest, “Litanie du Misanthrope” is a more passive track that showcases the band's atmospheric tendencies. The concept shown on “Litanie du Misanthrope” is expanded on “Des Martyrs...Allégorie De La Foi”, a more complex track in terms of musicianship, but still proud of its atmospheric tendencies. But do not assume that this evident atmosphere comes with terrible musicianship, for each band member is adept at what they do.
The guitarist(s) add some technical tremolo plucking and sweeps here and there to not only increase the proficiency of the music, but to add an element of exigency throughout. The bass, contrary to the status quo of metal music, is a notable element to Ecclesia
and its overall sound, and makes the music a much more rich. The vocals are rather exciting; the switches in pitch and tone are intriguing and pique the listener's interest. A combination of all of these elements lead to the end result of the album: an excellent achievement in progressive metal.
Although the band receives very little attention, they should not be overlooked. Ecclesia
is a testament to eclecticism and atmosphere. The aggression found on this album is balanced out by ominous melodies and lyrics that hearken back to the Dark Ages. The talented musicianship and innovation is interesting to listen to. Overall, Ecclesia
is an intriguing yet innovative listen that should be enjoyed by anyone fond of eerie rhythms and atmosphere.