A not insignificant perceptual share of those involved in Bergen's black metal scene, originates from the rural area west toward the sea, north of the Sognefjord. Natas was started by Djafull and Atyr in 2011 and has since enlisted more men to their dark mission.
The six members of Natas comes from various parts of Sunnfjord, and have chosen to re-locate to Førde, rather than Bjørgvin.
Natas consists of a lot of fresh faces, as well as two men with affiliation to Ritual Spell and Nattverd respectively.
If you were to compare to other “fellow district men” in exile, with links to amongst other bands like Trelldom, Gorgoroth* and Taake*, the fresh coalition has a lot to live up to. A proper comparison wouldn't be favourable at all to these newcomers, though.
Natas is, not surprisingly, promoted to fans of TNBM in general. On På Veg... til Helvette, however, a lot of what made the early pioneer works immortal classics, is lacking. Rather than appearing as a work, in the proper sense of the word, this disc becomes more like an compilation of songs without a distinct direction or context.
Of course, the album has got its drifting rhythms, its sharp guitars and biting vocals, but that's pretty much a minimum requirement. The melody lines have limp hooks. Parts of the vocals are shrieked. The clean vocals becomes superficial. The atmosphere is melancholic, and only works tolerably. First and foremost in the last three songs. I basically thrive well when these last songs make their entrance.
In short, På Veg... til Helvette, meaning “On (someone's) Way... to Hell”, nevertheless largely consists of second-rate, reasonably mediocre black metal. Purely isolated, it's not too bad, but who needs such when Djevel has recently released a new album (just to throw in a concrete example of inequitably distributed quality). Rating: 2+
Helldprod Records, 20.04.18
With about a dozen albums released every single day, all year round, on average, it goes without saying that a lot of similar sounding music is being released.
Portugese Scarificare is also no definite unique specimen, but the band stands out a bit more than the majority.
Without appearing as quirky, the guys still don't fit into traditional pigeon-holes. But the cattle needs to be numbered, labelled and categorized, you know.
Is there any such genre as hyper-melodic black metal?
Hyper-melodic would be to exaggerate. The guy's melodic extreme metal is under the circumstances gentle and mild with rounded edges, though. The music is related to black metal, albeit somewhat peripheral. Rough riffs and scratchy guitar-sound is present, but despite the harsh attitude, the conduct is orderly when Scarificare comes together. Elements like clean vocal, proggy rhythms, pagan and heavy metal influences occur, and colour the aura of the music with a idiosyncratic glow. Lack of distinctive mood and melody, on the other hand, gives a post-melodic feeling that helps to dampen the extremity. Most of your relatives and colleagues will still regard the music as noisy, though.
Vibes of various diversity can be picked up on Tilasm, without me being able to dissect and sort it all. A little Ics Vortex can be traced in the melody lines, and some Vintersorg hides in the harmonies. The songs are comfortable, albeit not with the biggest hooks. The exception is the second song, Wandering Soul, with its light touch of Satyricon along the way and the original instrumental usage in the last few minutes.
To the extent that Scarificare reminds of anyone else, it would probably be Borknagar of present age. 45 minutes long Tilasm is a respectable third album, so give it a chance. Rating: 4
Independent, 11.04.18 Aeonian Sorrow is an international band playing sorrowful serenades with roots in gothic death/doom of the beauty and the beast type.
The band's female front figure is not just one of two mandatory vocalists according to this formula. Greek Gogo Melone (Luna Obscura) is also the songwriter, and the one who started the band in September 2015.
She's also a graphic designer, and she has created the cover art for Into The Eternity A Moment We Are.
With female charm and ditto cunningness, she has lured four male musicians to assist on this debut.
Gogo's duet partner is Colombian Alejandro Lotero from Exgenesis, and behind the instruments we find three Finns. Guitarist Taneli Jämsä and drummer Saku Moilanen both have their employment in Red Moon Architect, while bassist Pyry Hanski amongst other plays in Endzeit, as well as having a past in Before the Dawn.
Since the nineties, the gothic-sounding variety of fatal doom has had limited activity. With a few exceptions, death/doom has done without fair female's voices to play the role of victimhood as damsel in distress. At the same time, female-fronted metal seems to have moved in a more commercial, so-called easily digestible direction. Although most polished and pompously epic bands seem to appeal to the masses, the lack of friction makes it easier to lose the appetite (and belief in humanity) for the rest of us. But enough criticism of acts like Epica, Within Temptation and Nightwish.
Aeonian Sorrow make use of Gogo's beautiful vocal, but also of Alejandro's scrubbing growls. Somewhat poppy Enja-vocals and the piano's round tones are also encircled by the guitar's grieving resonance and the drum's forlorn heartbeats.
Draped in mourning-veil, the quintet conveys suffering and pain. The contrasts in the expression work well, and the melodies are good. There is still room for somewhat stronger melodic hooks, and more internal variation would have suited the song material. A bit more exciting experimentation with the structure, would have done no harm either. Despite some potential for improvement, Into The Eternity A Moment We Are is nevertheless a moody and tearfully emotional, hour-long seance. Rating: 4