Nightbringer
Terra Damnata


3.5
great

Review

by Brett Tharp STAFF
April 17th, 2017 | 76 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Naas Alcameth and CO. return with . . . essentially more of the same, absurdity and kvltness in no small measure.

As complex and “kvlt” as they like to portray themselves, Nightbringer are just about as orthodox as underground black metal comes these days. Underneath the chaotic technicality and obscure occult trappings their latest outing, Terra Damnata, is startlingly traditional. At heart it’s really just a series of grandiose keys, blazing riffs, and frenetic drumming, obligatory shrieks ov satan glazed over the top. The greatest claim to uniqueness that I can find is that they’re a distinctly European inspired, yet American reared outfit in a sea of USBM acts. Sure it helps them stand out from the native pack, but you can trace a lot of their sound back to some of the well known forces of the Norwegian second wave, Emperor being one of the most recognizable. Oh hell, I’ll cut them a little slack. I can give them some mad props for stringing along a bit of that ritualized weirdness I love about bands like Serpent Noir, but it’s nowhere near their level of execution or self-aware, pretention fueled honesty. And it’s hard not to feel like Naas Alcameth and company peaked already on Ego Dominus Tuus (hell, I’d go so far as to say Naas peaked with his most recent side project Akhlys, a better and more dynamic Nightbringer that Nightbringer), but there’s more than enough frantic energy and gleeful absurdity on Terra Damnata to satisfy.

There isn’t a single bit of grace as opener “As Wolves Amongst Ruins” takes all of three seconds to explode into blitzkrieg rhythms and blaring sirens imitating guitar leads, but that’s alright. If I heard another ambient buildup cosplaying subtlety, I’d have turned the album off immediately. Nightbringer don’t give one single *** about subtlety and I applaud them for that in a weird way. Well, maybe they think they do at times, like the orchestrated cooldown to the very same track or the fabulously long winded piano intro to “Let Silence Be His Sacred Name” (a whopping 35 seconds!), but I also “suspect” (alternately insert “hope”) they’re being a little tongue in cheek with these moments. In any case there’s not a lot of downtime to be found within Terra Damnata, and if there were I reckon that the album’s effect would’ve been diluted substantially.

There’s also a certain mold that seven of the eight album cuts fit into, blistering trems into blistering blast beats into banshee screams and so on. Copy and paste six minute runtimes for most of them and you have the bulk of the tracks here, minus “Let Silence Be His Sacred Name” which not so coincidentally drags a tad next to the rest. It’s not really so much of a concern since the sheer speed, energy and chaos of the ensemble takes up so much of your attention that you no longer notice such minor roadblocks. “Serpent Sun” closes out the record with a slightly different approach as the music slows down and mournful guitar melodies ease us out of the darkness. It’s a nice diversion even if it’s not so far out of Nightbringer’s usual jurisdiction. All the same, if the album had run with that approach and even built on it some, Terra Damnata wouldn’t feel quite so much like the intensely fun rehash it boils down to.




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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2017


10148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty dope album tbh even if I rail on it a bit.



almost started a closing paragraph but then i kinda thought it ended pretty nicely on that last one, dunno if too abrupt or not lemme know



can jam on spotify or bandcamp or whatever XD use google urself u lazy bums wtf

Digging: Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2017


2886 Comments


Hated their last one. On the fence about checking this. Good rev

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2017


10148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

as you should've gleamed from the review it's not very different from ego, so I'd recommend skipping this one since you didn't like the last.

trilogique21
April 16th 2017


1264 Comments


wasn't a big fan of the first single i heard but i liked their last album so i'll probably check this out

Good rev [2]



Digging: Spectral Voice - Eroded Corridors of Unbeing

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2017


2886 Comments


"as you should've gleamed from the review it's not very different from ego, so I'd recommend skipping this one since you didn't like the last."

Yeah but some friends of mine who didn't like the last one either seemed more positive about this so I was like eeehhhhh maybee??


Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2017


10148 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is about 20 minutes shorter and maybe you'll find it more dynamic or something but that's about it, give it a check if you get real curious doe i guess

Essence
April 16th 2017


5816 Comments


will probably check, this is my type of bm jam lately

ZippaThaRippa
April 16th 2017


10206 Comments


Oh shit yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah, it's finally all the way out!

analogplutonium
April 17th 2017


34 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great album with some really mean riffs. Although it does not redefine anything, it's going to be really hard to top this as the best orthodox black metal release of the year. Also I definitely enjoy this more than their last one, which was a very good album already imho.

tastepolice
April 17th 2017


185 Comments


have I called them trendy garbage here yet?
I don't remember


trendy garbage

EphemeralEternity
April 17th 2017


2982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review/album even if the latter is indeed more of the same

kingdedethefifth
April 17th 2017


3874 Comments


Sounds pretty solid. We need more raw black metal bands in the U.S lol all of them want to be Deafheaven or some shit

Essence
April 17th 2017


5816 Comments


this aint raw son

kingdedethefifth
April 17th 2017


3874 Comments


That's what I think of when I hear pure, more European influenced Black metal

ZippaThaRippa
April 17th 2017


10206 Comments


Okay well that's not raw, son

kingdedethefifth
April 17th 2017


3874 Comments


Eh, I think it is. It's definitely more raw then the modern Black metal scene.

kingdedethefifth
April 17th 2017


3874 Comments


I mean shit like Mayhem, Darkthrone, what have you. Maybe even old Behemoth.

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2017


2886 Comments


This is so polished that how you could think it is raw is beyond me

Nightbringer spearhead underground clean black metal

They are the anti-raw

EphemeralEternity
April 17th 2017


2982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess traditional is the word he's looking for? as in musically/stylistically because production is pretty sterile

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2017


2886 Comments


Plenty of trad black metal everywhere, there is in no way a lack of it



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