Icelandic Black Metal is at an all-time high and 2016 started with good proof of why such a thing is happening. In spite of being a side project from members of the already well know band, “Misþyrming“, this project is also spreading the raw power of Icelandic Black Metal and it deserves equal attention, “Naðra”.
With just one EP named “Eitur” in 2014, “Allir vegir til glötunar” or “All roads to destruction”, is the band’s first full length album. Starting with “Fjallið”, the music immediately dunks us unto a whirlwind of chaos that grips your attention in the first seconds and shows that these guys know how to play every instrument they set out to play. Shortly after we are introduced to the voice which is not only exactly what you would expect from great Black Metal, it is quite characteristic.
“Sál” has a slower star that contrasts the previous song, however, speed doesn’t take long to manifest. Some Viking Metal elements can be heard in this track that remind me of Bathory in the late eighties and early nineties, these make some comebacks throughout the record.
The longest song from the album, “Falið”, follows with almost a quarter of an hour of tenebrous musicianship. It’s a long rollercoaster of accelerated violence and deliciously dragged out melancholy that ends side a wonderfully.
Side B begins with the comfortingly, lulling melody of “Sár”, at least for the first few seconds until the band throws our ears again into a dark abyss filled with adders playing guitar to the screams of Örlygur Sigurðarson, one of the best songs of the album. The same elements found in previous songs are found here in a well-balanced riff exchange between playing fast and letting slow riffs ring ominously in your ear, a technique that reveals that these guys know how to handle their instruments. There is an aura of melancholy hinting at the more emotionally dark side of things. You can even hear the birds sing at the end.
To finish how it started, the last song, “Fallið”, starts fast with no sign of slowing down. Then suddenly everything calms down and gathers by the fireplace to play acoustic instruments and druidic chants. But if there is one thing you should have learned by now is that “Naðra” only do these things to later on plunge us again into more aggression just seconds later. Force fed blackness follows until it culminates in more druidic chanting, this time accompanied by a guitar whose strings feel like vipers trying to escape and getting played anyway, a fine example of Black Metal leaving their guts and serving as a conclusion to this work. Not bad at all for something two years in the making. Highly recomendable to anyone who enjoys their metal Black.
Text by J.P. Alves