Sunday, August 20, 2017

Vinyl Review: "II" by Breag Naofa

We are in the summer of Breag Naofa even though we are in the first days of school.

It's still a sweatbox and people were asking me today, how was your summer? Long, busy, and it's time to wish for winter.

On a day when your friend and humble narrator was transported to the snowy land of Arendelle by Idina Menzell, a crushing black metal record landed upon his doorstep...along with another that we'll talk about soon enough.

Breag Naofa...they're slightly unusual and heavy boy. They're as heavy as Mitch Hedberg thought Monster Magnet was.

They can cleanse the palette in a way that gets all of the showtunes out of my head. Though Rent is a spectacular piece of art. Sorry...must think metal...

Breag Naofa
Spinning and spinning with more and more volume has yet to unlock the mystery that is this band.

Breag Naofa is very unusual.

In my heart of hearts, they're avant garde black metal, but that seems less than true.

Therefore rather than discussing what they am, let us confabulate on what they ain't.

Recently, Glacially Musical got back on on the power metal train. So are these gents power metal?

There's a severe lack of melodic singing and overarching guitar that's a big negatory. Death Metal has long been a staple of the reviews here.

Did we have blast beats? Well, yes, but they're neither Tampa Bay nor London stylized. It would be wrong to say they were even Swedish. Blast beats were used in the most proper fashion here. They're an accent a la Lars Ulrich rather than the basis of the sound a la Pete "Commando" Sandoval.

Red Smoke Edition
What about atmospheric metal and it's hundreds of diabolical offspring?

Certainly not. There is not a single soundscape that's been woven on either side of this record. Thrash? Doom? Fuzz? Stoner? Emo?

Nope. Nyet. Iie. God damn it anyway.

The growls are accompanied by slight droning strains, but only ever so slightly droning. If there was ever a droning riff crossover...this would certainly be that. Look, being honest, there are times when this guy here doesn't know all of the sub-sub-genres....technical death metal versus brutal death know right?

The  vocals are impassioned. The drums are restrained, until such point it's time to come off of the chain. The lack of guitar solos is noticeable, but not bothersome. Making metal without guitar solos is an art form unto itself. See St. Anger if you want to see how it was done poorly.

The average listener, who's not closing their eyes to feel the vibrations and the riffs probably wouldn't notice they're missing until late into the second side. That my friends, is how it's done.

Standard Operation Procedure for me is to relate a story when I listen to music. That story is always brought to the forefront of my mind based on the music.

My apologies, but Breag Naofa's II doesn't return me somewhere in the recesses of my mind. There's no story in my past that comes out of this.

Breag Naofa is a band that's going forward and not backwards. In fifteen years, I will have lived the story to tell about this record. Consider it the days of a future past.

As always, this Halo of Flies release is top notch. There are two editions, Red Smoke 150 copies and Standard Black, 350 copies. There's a download code.

The disc comes packed outside of the jacket, so there's no seam splitting.  The ever present download code remains ever present.

Release: 8/11/17
Genre: Metal
Label: Halo of Flies
Formats: LP/Digital

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