Review Summary: A journey into the mind of a man that's every bit as haunting as it is beautiful
In an increasingly vast world of music, it’s safe to say netra aren’t just another band. In fact, their music is quite unlike anything I’ve had the pleasure of hearing before. Combining influences of black metal and jazz with an eerie trip hop vibe, netra’s latest album Sørbyen
is all compiled by one man. However, this is no ordinary man. This is a man, who in his darkest times began to create music to battle his demons and cure his boredom of city life. He is the creative force behind netra’s music and his talents and ambitions shine throughout the bands’s sophomore album, Sørbyen.
Throughout the journey that is Sørbyen
, you never really know what to expect. Just when you think you have the music figured out, you discover you are gravely mistaken. Whether it be the trademark black metal screams of ‘Concrete Ocean’ or the hauntingly beautiful title track, Sørbyen
has a surprise waiting around every corner. At first, the thought of mixing a genre like trip hop with black metal seemed unusual to me, but the mysterious man behind netra is able to pull it off. Perhaps it’s how subtly he is able to mix such different genres without sounding awkward, or maybe it’s just the fact that he’s really ***ing good. Even the guitar work exceeds expectations. ‘It’s Kicking In’ starts out as a stoner jam, with strange whispers and trip hop beats before bringing in some funky guitar solos. Other songs have heavy guitars right from the get go, like ‘Strange Bliss at Dusk’ which starts out sounding like a metal song before turning into a schizophrenic ride through indescribable sounds.
is a well constructed album, there’s no doubt about that. The only real drawback is that certain songs will likely be harder to digest for the less daring listener. ‘I Shall Slay the Monkeys’ contains some of the most intense vocals on the album, but some may find it hard to get past the claustrophobic nature that protrudes throughout its runtime. However, the title track is a prime example of Netra’s ability to create a truly beautiful track. Without the help of any vocals, the song flows incredibly smoothly as it slowly builds an atmospheric background to make room for muddy, but slightly melodic guitars. Not only does this verify the talent behind netra, but it proves the unpredictability of Sørbyen. Sometimes it’s beautiful, others it’s downright strange, but it’s always exciting. Those looking for something a little different will find a lot to enjoy in this release. After all, netra aren’t just another band.