Negator - Old Black review
|Release date:||February 2004|
01. Science Of Nihil
02. Free Bird
03. Der Infanterist
06. Vernunft 1.0
07. In The Unholy Halls Of Eternal Frost
If you don't like onslaughts of ferocious blast beats, raw old-school black metal production, and high pitched, fiendish shrieking, or crave originality and progressiveness in your music, go home. Now.
Those of you who are left, and are willing to give this album a try, you're in for the most vicious 40 minutes (well, 38) of nihilistic angst of your life.
"So grind!" howls Steve "Nachtgarm" Marbs, at the end of opening track "The Science Of Nihil", and the band proceeds to do just that. Old Black is a barrage of grinding, gnashing guitars and wails that suck your soul down into a pit of ravishing grimness as surely as any black hole.
This is the album that comes to mind when I hear the words "black metal." It is the epitome of that dark genre: vicious, speedy and catchy guitar riffs and relentless drums provide a solid background for the hate-filled shrieks and wails Nachtgarm delivers with wild, reckless fury and emotion.
Hate is what this album is all about. Hate drips from the exquisite vocals like venom from a cobra's fangs, festers in the instrumentation like gangrene, and the listener's soul is corrupted by it as surely as a politician's soul is corrupted by being a politician.
"Interludium" is a well-needed respite from the onslaught; it is a short, crisp interlude that, oddly enough, sounds like the opening lines of "Mindtraveller" from Falconer's self-titled album. Just long enough to let you catch your breath and keep yourself from breaking your neck head-banging, it is the only break from the viciousness until the final song.
There is not much here in the terms of originality. However, if you're looking for a break from the symphonic, melodic trends in modern "melodic" black metal, Old Black is the perfect album for you. And even if "blasturbation" isn't your thing, Old Black is well worth a listen.
Negator is extremely skilled, both in instrumentation and in songwriting. The blast beats don't grow stale, and there is enough variety here to easily keep the listener's interest for the duration of the album. The majority of the album's tracks are fairly brief, clocking in between three and six minutes per, with the vast majority being under four, but the closing track "Renegation" is an eleven-minute epic. Starting slow before picking up into chainsaw-riffing overdrive, "Renegation" shows some slower passages reminiscent of Immortal's "At The Heart Of Winter", and is diverse enough to justify its length.
This is a superb disc, well worth the countless spins I've given it, and I credit it, along with Darkthrone's A Blaze In The Northern Sky with bringing me into the older, more vicious style of black metal. It's a shame this band is so unknown, for they are superb, and this is both their first and their best album. Give it a try, particularly if you like vicious stuff like Mayhem, Immortal, and Watain. A realm of darkness awaits you.
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| J. N.
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