Neglektum is a two piece Melodic Black Metal band from Sweden, and Blasphemer is their debut album. It’s a really good effort from Neglektum, and does everything that a good melodic black metal album should.
The opening track Blasphemer at almost 9 minutes long is an absolute epic. With an excellent mix of riffs, from the melodic tremolo picked and slower sprawling riffs,to catchy galloping riffs to bang your head to, it’s a real riff-fest, and with a really excellent melodic and powerful solo, the track is always engaging and excellent. The guitar playing in general throughout the album is excellent, there is a real sense of creativity that oozes throughout the album. Azargoth’s vocal style is great too, rasping with a really intense and passionate approach, it’s a powerful performance throughout the album, and particularly on the track Blasphemer, and he rasps with excellent clarity too. Second track “Infernal Declaration of Hate” is a faster beast, with a furious blastbeat assault and a really excellent epic sounding tremolo picked opening riff. The bass playing on this song is good too, giving an extra dynamism to the music, working great with the excellent drumming, with a real crunch to the tone. “Begotten Son (Forgotten)” begins with a slow and sprawling riff, richly dark and atmospheric, before bursting into an intense and speedy Black Metal maelstrom, with yet more excellent riffs, the high pitched tremolo picked riff at the end is of the highest calibre.
There are two interludes too, with “Salvation”, a piece of lovely acoustic guitar playing of nearly three minutes long, providing a welcome and excellent break from the Black Metal mayhem, the playing here is excellent and interesting, a damn sight better than the vast majority of acoustic interludes used by umpteen other Black Metal bands. “Dies Irae part 1” is a short piano section, less than one minute, but with a good sense of melody and atmosphere. Not quite as good as Salvation, but a decent intro to the last track “Dies Irae part 2”, another inspired slab of riff filled fury, which unfortunately ends the album much too soon, the song just sort of stops without any warning. The production on this album is great too, with every instrument and the vocals sounding fantastic and clear, while still retaining an excellent Black Metal atmosphere. It’s great to get the balance right in the production between having a great sense of clarity, while still having a heavy and atmospheric sound.
“Blasphemer” is a debut album I can’t recommend highly enough, it’s just excellent in every way. It doesn’t really break the mould or do anything drastically different to other Melodic Black Metal, but it’s executed so well that it’s just a stunning album. It has a real sincere and passionate approach, inspired guitar work throughout,really good vocals, and even some interludes which aren’t painfully generic, but above all excellent song writing and creativity. Definitely one for the Black Metal fans to check out.
Blasphemer was released on February 25th through Goathorned Productions. Listen to an album teaser: