And after DESTINITY once more Melodic Black Metal from France, just this time around a good lot better. Sure, LATRO DECTÜS won't win any kind of originality prizes, but still, they are at least one and a half steps further than their countrymen.
The keyboards play a quite important part in the LATRO DECTÜS sound, bringing in the symphonic element so many people either never got to like or grew tired of long ago, but still, the melodies conveyed are not bad. Also the guitar work is worth an up pointing thumb, while the rhythm section is nicely varied, shifting tempos where needed without disrupting the flow of the song.
These five guys, who also have slept in a chalk pot, so it seems, nicely vary blast passages with very melodic and atmospheric parts with the only problem that the songs do not really have much (or anything?) marking them as LATRO DECTÜS and not one of the countless other bands of the same style out there. Yet I have to attest songs like the title track "Altered Flesh" or the very melodic and atmospheric instrumental "Alone…" quite some song writer-ish class, well arranged and played.
Three more things worth noticing are the strong French accent of fronter Necurat (at least I guess that "Altered Soul & Kräftige Seele" stands for that), his strong clean vocals (like in good "The Being's Damnation") and the fact that the lyrics for "Totentanz" are a mix from German and some French, while closing "Irreverent Corpses" is purely in French, which gives this really good song an extra special touch.
So even though LATRO DECTÜS fail to set a real highlight in the genre, I must say that they have managed to release a very solid Melodic Black Metal album in "Altered Flesh", which is at least something for the beginning. (Online April 30, 2003)