Berto : Embryonic Cells is a French black metal band that is faithful to the first wave of black metal that descended on us from Scandinavia in the nineties. The band already sees itself as a bastard child of those icy Nordic fields. Founded in 1994, it lasted until 2008 for the full first album Before The Storm' saw the light, followed in 2012 by 'The Dread Sentence'. This new album 'Horizon' is therefore only the fourth album in fourteen years.
Opener 'Do not Serve Your King' is indeed a song with an icy riff from the nineties, but also a memorable one. Furthermore, a fairly standard black metal song, but one that lingers after the first listen and that is not always the case with black metal. In the background a keyboard also plays a role, a role that becomes clearer in the following song 'Carved In My Skin'. Only as a bit of colouring in the background but yet they know how to give the song a distinctive sound. However, most songs are great and upbeat, 'Across The Mountains' starts slower and later gets that nice speed again. The title track slowly turns into 'To Horizon' and here the band gives the keyboards an even more prominent role in the icy sounding beginning. It continues in a more epic manner with distorted and more spoken vocals by singer Max Beaulieu and it ends with those nice fast riffs again. A highlight on this album, together with 'No Boundaries' that ends the album with a more threatening, dark sound and varied vocals.
The output of the band may not be big with four albums in 14 years, but ultimately it's all about quality and with 'Horizon' the band has once again placed themselves in the spotlight of the always fickle black metal audience.