Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Album Review: Nephrolith: Paleness of the Bled World

It had been several weeks since I had listened to any black metal, and the new release from Nephrolith was a suitable reintroduction to the genre.

It is a complex, modern take which achieves a unique clarity without sounding polished.  The vocals, while still harsh and growled, are surprisingly discernible.  This is a positive, as the lyrics are excellent and relay dark tales of personal anguish.

The result is a powerful and melodic black metal sound, which at times veers into death metal, while regularly including the genre specific blast beats and tremolo picking. 

Brutal passages are connected by crisp and powerful melodic musical interludes.  It is difficult to compare Nephrolith to any other black metal band, because at different times they are reminiscent of different bands and different eras of the genre.

At their most melodic and epic they reminded me of Dimmu Borgir.  At other times the album takes a turn for the atmospheric and dark in the vein of Emperor or Burzum.  They are truly a sum of many parts.

Bled ascend the mountain of black metal.
There is much to learn from the album title Paleness of the Bled World.  Nephrolith hails from Bled, Slovenia, which has earned the status as the tourist jewel of Slovenia due to its picturesque beauty and idyllic lakeside setting.  Still, life there has a pale side as experienced by Nephrolith.

The band themselves hint they see darkness and despair when they gaze into their town's namesake waters. This album is strong on the theme of death.

The creation of the album was not without trials and tribulations.  After initially overcoming lineup changes which delayed the album for two years, their vocalist Nik Kosar developed an inner ear condition.  This made him unable to perform and threatened his continued membership in the band. Fortunately, he was able to work through this and deliver the powerful vocals which are a highlight of the album.

The wait for this album has indeed been long, but the results are worth the wait.

Release: November 11, 2016
Genre: Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal
Label: Cursed Records

No comments:

Post a Comment