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Stricta Doctrina‎ – Untitled

Martial Neo-classic. It’s been a while since I’d heard anything good from this sub-genre. Winglord’s “The Chosen One” comes to mind. These type of releases are too few and far between, in my opinion. Stricta Doctrina is a one man effort, begun in 2010. The rise and fall of empires, and the eventual return to tradition in the metaphysical sense roundly explains the point and legend of the contained tracks. In the loose tradition of Area Bombardment, Heresiarch, and Winglord, Stricta Doctrina (QC) builds itself upon the foundation of precise military drums, the sounds of battle, and, most gratifying, the use of some truly beautiful orchestral arrangements. This is up there with soundtrack quality music. One can close the eyes and see the world as it was and is, in a series of empires, built and fallen. The roar of battle, the regiment of military maneuvers, and the touching scenes of a microscopic view of a telescopic reality.

The artist goes to great lengths, it seems, to provide a unique canvas for each continuing track. A wide plethora of sounds, synths, and native instruments are used to create a wide and appealing palette of sound for the full duration of the work. Cellos, violins, pianos, diverse drums, and even some woodwind instruments make their presence known throughout. Each song seems well thought out and executed. My only real complaint about the music, as far as aesthetics go, is the fact that most songs cut off rather abruptly at the end. It doesn’t affect my overall view of the music, but it’s something I noticed quite glaringly each time it happened. If that is what the artist was going for, they certainly achieved it.

Another note: The use of choirs is really well done on every track they’re used on. I am particularly fond of choirs, and was very happy to see them incorporated here. They give it that extra something, an additional feeling of dramatic rise and fall. Additionally, they are well-structured and mixed, giving a heightened sense of realism and fullness. After several trips through, “Vision Apocalyptique (Partie II) resonated especially personally to me. Pianos walk you through the introduction, joined by a selection of finer single string elements and percussive elements. All in all, a very minimal, yet stirring song. And that’s really the key to this collective work. Short, stirring anthems that seem to end as quickly as they begin. All in all, this is a solid release. The artist certainly has the potential to make something truly spectacular as he/she goes along the path. Engrossing, enjoyable, and well placed, the work speaks in a cavernous room of mumblers and dissenters. Untitled, indeed. The music speaks for itself.

Rating: 4/5
Written by: Asche
Label: Twilight Records (AR) / Format: CD / Cat. #TW 1.98

Tracklisting:

1. L’Épopée
2. Marche Sous Le Drapeau
3. Retour À La Tradition
4. Sur Le Front, Loin De Leur Patrie
5. Vision Apocalyptique (Partie I)
6. La Voix De Nos Ancêtres
7. L’Empire De La Subversion
8. Vision Apocalyptique (Partie II)
9. Le Déclin

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