From Lyon, France, Meurtrières are trad heavy metal band that took the underground by storm last month when they released their debut self-titled 5-song EP online. With a sound at once raw and epic, it’s easy to forget that Meurtrières is a new recording as it sounds like something that came out at least 40 years ago. It’s not just that the Meurtrières debut sounds vintage; their compositions also recall a bygone era when long, heroic metal songs were not only in vogue, but the norm. Beyond their sound, the perfection continues. From the artwork to the fact that Meurtrières are legitimately an underground band with a self-produced and self-released EP would make any bandhunter just drool. Of course we had to reach out . . .
According to one of Meurtrières’ guitarists, Olivier, “Meurtrières [rose] in 2018 from the ashes of two defunct punk bands: Gasmask Terrör and Pinku Saido.” Which comes through in their sound in subtle ways, in our opinion. Olivier continues: “All of us had this secret dream to, one day, form a heavy metal band as we are all crazy about Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate but also the french wave of heavy metal with bands like Sortilege or Malediction for instance. We struggled to find a singer during 10 months and finally Fleur accepted, to our great joy, to be part of this epic journey. And here we are.”
According to Flo Spector, Meurtrières’ other guitarist, the band’s “main influences outside of the musical realm are Middle Age tales and imagery but with our own contemporary twist, so to speak.”
This becomes apparent when you realize what their band name means. Although it’s not a reference, the name Meurtrières does have a double meaning. “Damn I’ve never realized the reference to Killers believe it or not!” Olivier says. “Meurtrières is a name that I had in mind since a long time, but it was first designed to be the name of a black metal band that never saw the light of the day (which seems pretty normal for a black metal band but you know what I mean…). In French Meurtrières has a double meaning: it means arrowslits for medieval castles but it also means ‘women who murder.’ It definitely fits the band since we have that medieval vibe in both the music and the lyrics and also Fleur’s lyrics are medieval tales of womens destinies which are unfortunately often cursed with violence and murder.”
Regarding her lyrics, vocalist Fleur says: “Writing in my native language is an obvious and natural choice. I like to play with my native language that I find [subtle] and full of meaning. I’m not a good English writer/speaker so I undertake those flaws this way. Also, my native language suits well the Middle Ages feeling I want to convey through my lyrics.”
Meurtrières’ drummer, Thomas agrees. “Singing in your native language is always better than in broken English (such as mine),” he laughs. “When you listen to great bands like POKOLGEP, Ария, H AND H, BARON ROJO, etc. They wouldn’t have been the same if they had sung in English, the language itself brings its own musicality.”
Looking back, Olivier says everything has turned out how he had hoped it would. “The original idea of the band was a traditional heavy metal sound played with a high rocking energy,” the guitarist recalls. “Everyone of us coming from a punk background we are not the tightest or the fastest musicians around, but we have that hardcore rock ‘n’ roll energy to make up for it. I think the demo is quite close to the original idea actually.”
It’s their first recording, but Meurtrières don’t think of their self-titled debut as a demo. “Soundwise, it is as good as any other record I can put my hand on nowadays,” says Flo. “Recording session was really great but exhausting because we managed to do all the instrumentals, overdubs and all in only two hectic days! L’epicerie Moderne is not a studio per se, it’s a venue who provide everything to record properly, like analog mixing board, tons of good mics, hardware and so on. Bruno, the guy who records us, is a good friend who works at this place and he knows his equipment really well. We set up on stage and record live for the most part, like you’re playing your songs without the arrangements, solos etc…. a really tricky but convenient process. I love it personally, it’s not for everyone though.”
As for their incredible artwork, Flo says, “Alyosha Kr. is also a very talented friend who plays in bands, makes videos, artworks, etc. in our local punk scene. He proposed to make our artwork and, with his previous works in mind, we were sure to make the right decision. It was beyond our expectation to be honest. He nailed the Cirith Ungol/Ashbury vibes we want to provide throughout our artwork. Top notch friend!”
When Meurtrières posted their EP online, they were looking for a label to release it physically. It was not long before that was taken care of. “Our EP will be released as a MCD on Armée de la Mort Records, on tape in Europe on Crystal Blade Records and in the US on Nameless Grave Records,” says Flo. “Everything should be out sooner or later. We’re still looking for a label for a vinyl release though!”
If you ever get the chance to see Meurtrières live, don’t miss it. According to Flo, you can expect “high energy, sword swinging, epic riffs, maybe not the tightest band you’ll ever experience live hehehe but we do our best that’s for sure.”
This goes without saying, but keep your eyes on Meurtrières. This is a band with a brightly gleaming future.