Narrow House - A Key To Panngrieb review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
8.3

10 users:
7.50
Band: Narrow House
Album: A Key To Panngrieb
Release date: August 2012


01. Last Retreat
02. Pseudo-salvation
03. The Vitreous God
04. Beneath This Face [Esoteric cover]


Don't spend too much time pondering the band's name, "WTF does a Narrow House have to do with metal?" Don't lump them as some 80's alternative rock band like the similarly named A House or Crowded House, nor think of that catchy "Our House" ditty by Madness.

Perish the thought.

And just perish in general.

"Narrow House" is a slang term for a coffin and that should give you a much better idea of what their music is about. Nothing cheery. Nothing happy. Nothing particularly hummable. A Key To Panngrieb is like a gathering storm, a slowly coalescing bleakness that continues to build in intensity until it culminates in a horrific sonic onslaught that batters the listener to their very core.

It is a crushing doom platter paired with a side of black and a nice ambient sauce drizzled over the top.

It starts off quietly enough with ambient soundscapes like troubling clouds on the distant horizon, but don't reach for that volume knob. Don't be fooled. When it hits, it crashes like a slow motion deluge. It gets much louder surprisingly fast.

The sonic assault also eases the listener in, however. Initially "The Last Refuge" reminded me of the softened harsh beauty of Shape Of Despair, slow moving doom cloaked in synths (and cello). As the album progresses, the fury continues to build. At certain times I was reminded of the psychedelia of Esoteric. Midway through the closing track, "Behind The Mask This", the band drew a comparison to Faal's latest album closer when it suddenly kicked into a full throttle stormburst…

A Key To Panngrieb is really well crafted, from song arrangements to sound. Narrow House almost effortlessly succeed in conveying the wide ranges of doom, from fragile beauty to crushing loss to abject horror.

So while the band name might sound odd if not familiar with the slang meaning, and the cover is not prototypical doom, I've namedropped two titans of doom metal as well as my current favorite release of the year (The Clouds Are Burning) as points of sonic reference. I did not do this lightly. This album was the wildcard in my latest "From Russia With Love Doom" pack from Solitude Productions, and piqued my interest to hop to the front of the review queue.

If you enjoy the more extreme side of doom, it is definitely worth checking out the first and worst from this Ukrainian Insurgent (Doom) Army.

Conveniently the band crafted a video for the opening track, "The Last Refuge", which you can find here.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 19.09.2012 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 273 users
19.09.2012 - 01:56
Alex F
yeah man
You've intrigued me, i shall look into this
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19.09.2012 - 01:59
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Alex F on 19.09.2012 at 01:56

You've intrigued me, i shall look into this



I also have this album for reviewing purposes for a couple of weeks now and I wholeheartedly agree with the bitter old man's review.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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19.09.2012 - 07:43
Nefarious
Doom Knight
The three bands you draw comparison from are Shape of Despair, Esoteric & Faal?! Sold! Will check this out ASAP.
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"FUCK!!! You're the fucking 5th person asking me in an interview about the woman in the bathtub… The problem is that I AM the fucking person in the bathtub, and I AM a fucking MAN, for fuck's sake! I hate you all!" ~ Herr Morbid
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19.09.2012 - 11:28
Merchant of Doom
There are also tinges of Abstract Spirit, IMO... BTW, just to be pedantic and according to one of the band's members, 'Narrow House' is not slang for 'coffin'. In fact, apparently in Russian it means 'last retreat' (or refuge), hence 'a coffin'. As the band member said, it's a 'bookish' translation. I think he meant it's not literal (a metaphor)... last retreat = coffin = narrow house... lol

Very good album indeed and very mature for a début... and a good review too!
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19.09.2012 - 15:09
Draugen
The namedropping couldn't have intrigued me much more than it did. I will without question give the album a go at some point.
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19.09.2012 - 21:14
Dane Train
Beers & Kilts
Killer review. I am now going to try an find this album!
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(space for rent)
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19.09.2012 - 21:55
Abattoir
Well, I'm all in for this.
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19.09.2012 - 23:04
BitterCOld
Gringo
Written by Merchant of Doom on 19.09.2012 at 11:28

There are also tinges of Abstract Spirit, IMO... BTW, just to be pedantic and according to one of the band's members, 'Narrow House' is not slang for 'coffin'. In fact, apparently in Russian it means 'last retreat' (or refuge), hence 'a coffin'. As the band member said, it's a 'bookish' translation. I think he meant it's not literal (a metaphor)... last retreat = coffin = narrow house... lol

Very good album indeed and very mature for a début... and a good review too!


not to be pedantic, but in regards to the name, from the email i exchanged with the band inquiring about their moniker before writing the review:

"Narrow House" means "a coffin". People don't make them wide, you know. Thanks for the interest!

so who knows, they're having a laugh at us...

regardless of meaning, the music is awesome.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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19.09.2012 - 23:15
Daniell
No, you don't
Merchant of Doom, you've been owned. Again.
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Now loving:
Katatonia - Takeover
Kreator - World War Now
Ortega - Crows
Ahab - The Light In the Weed
Anaal Nathrakh - Depravity Favours the Bold
Dark Tranquillity - Encircled
Moonsorrow - Ihmisen Aika
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19.09.2012 - 23:58
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Daniell on 19.09.2012 at 23:15

Merchant of Doom, you've been owned. Again.


Yeah it is getting boring the amount of times he gets owned/corrected
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
20.09.2012 - 00:55
Merchant of Doom
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.09.2012 at 23:58

Written by Daniell on 19.09.2012 at 23:15

Merchant of Doom, you've been owned. Again.


Yeah it is getting boring the amount of times he gets owned/corrected



Nah, 'Bewitched''s been economical with the truth with him... B'cold should know, since he's been posting in the same thread... maybe he couldn't be bothered to read the 6 pages...
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20.09.2012 - 05:09
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Kinda sounds like an Esoteric B-side, from the YT track.

Nice review!
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forever bummed out
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20.09.2012 - 11:49
Bewitched
Thanks for all nice words, and sorry for all the mess with the band's name, my bad . And thanks for the vivid review!
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Narrow House (ambient funeral doom from Ukraine): Website, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube
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20.09.2012 - 23:14
Daniell
No, you don't
The footage in this video is taken from a brilliant Ingmar Bergman film, Det Sjunde Inseglet. The opening scene shows a knight sitting down to a game of chess with death. One of my favourite movies.
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Now loving:
Katatonia - Takeover
Kreator - World War Now
Ortega - Crows
Ahab - The Light In the Weed
Anaal Nathrakh - Depravity Favours the Bold
Dark Tranquillity - Encircled
Moonsorrow - Ihmisen Aika
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23.09.2012 - 15:40
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Bugger bugger bugger, we've all been asleep hahahahaha


SOng number 4 is a cover of Esoteric's Beneath This Face
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
23.09.2012 - 18:25
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
"It is a crushing doom platter paired with a side of black and a nice ambient sauce drizzled over the top."

Consider me sold
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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24.09.2012 - 05:20
Blackhand
Definitely will get this one.
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06.11.2012 - 14:21
There's an interview with the band that can be found here: http://www.mortemzine.net/show.php?id=3386&il=4
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