Naðra are yet another excellent band from the increasingly exciting Icelandic black metal scene. Another project from the boys in Misthyrming, they trade their dissonance and darkness for a more melodic and epic take on the genre, with excellent results.
The album is impressive from the moment it kicks off, with tremolo picked lead guitar and riffs imbued with memorable melodies, played both with a fury and penchant for the epic. The lead guitar melodies are up front and in your face giving a sense of majesty to the release while the rhythm guitar creates a lovely warm fuzz in the background. The drums blast and pound energetically alongside hammering basslines in an excellent rhythm section. Sweeping solos make their way through the album to add that extra level of intensity to what’s already an enrapturing atmosphere. The epic sound they create brings to mind modern Enslaved, but focused less on their progressive elements and more on an in-your-face atmospheric black metal sound – and more enjoyable.
Special mention must go to the fearsome vocals, D.G screaming throughout with full-throat tearing energy over the top of the majestic music adding an extra dynamic and urgent energy to the album. Absolutely furious and over the top, the passion in each vocal line is staggering. With the crystalline production, Allir vegir til glötunar feels incredibly warm and effervescent, but also punchy and dynamic. The best track on the album is the fourteen minute Falið, beginning with a brilliant melodic tremolo picked riff, before moving through different tempos brilliantly with a never-ending web of good ideas. It snakes between melodic and epic, softer and more atmospheric and full on treble drenched fuzz, all while keeping that main riff as a motif throughout the length of the track – feeling constantly fresh, exciting and nowhere near it’s running time.
D.G. has shown himself to be a staggeringly good musician, having put out two of the year’s best releases so far with Skaphe and now Naðra as well as releasing one of the most hyped black metal albums of last year with Misthyrming’s Söngvar elds og óreiðu. For any fans of epic black metal, this is one not to be missed.
Allir vegir til glötunar is availabe as a name your price download on bandcamp. Find Naðra on facebook here