Review Summary: Nailed to Obscurity's "Black Frost" is a beautifully dark and cold mixture of extreme metal subgenres that sounds larger than life.
Nailed to Obscurity is a German outfit that debuted in 2005, and are signed with infamous metal label Nuclear Blast Records.
Going in to theirĀ*4th full length LP, "Black Frost" I can't say I was all that excited, what I expected to hear was some corny, overproduced melodic death metal, but thankfully it did not turn out that way. This band offers a very fascinating combination of metal sub-genres, such as, post-black metal, melodoc death metal, blackened death metal, and one cold argue there's some doom metal influences here and there too. This combination makes them hard to classify, but I'll be damned if it doesn't make the music interesting.
First thing you're gong to notice is the clean vocals. Upon first hearing these cleans, I was skeptical, but they really do add a great deal of substance to the album. They sometimes come in the form of blissfully mellow passages that break up the heaviness of the rest of the album, and sometimes come in the form of whispers that sound cutting, and cold as ice.
While we're on that subject, if there was one word I could use to desrcibe the mood, and atmosphere of this album, it would definitely be, cold. Mostly due to the classic black metal like guitars and thick bass lines, but the more melo-death production style gives it a feeling of depth that I don't think it would've gotten otherwise. The lyrics, themes, and occasional brooding acoustic flourishes also do a great job of adding to that atmosphere. Perfect winter album for sure.
This is the type of album you can get lost in. Like I've mentioned the production makes it sound larger than life, and the songs themselves are pretty lengthy, which kind of comes with the territory, but it does add a lot to the album.
The screams here are deep, rumbling growls that sound truly evil, it's nice to see a black metal album (or black metal adjacent album) not use the stereotypical screeches that have been done to death.
I do, however, have one small complaint. This might not matter to some people, so take it how you will. This record has 10 tracks on it, and the last 3 are all remastered tracks from their debut album. It's not that those tracks are bad - in fact they're pretty good, although I can't speak for how good they are in comparison to their original versions because this is my first exposure to them - they just don't flow with the rest of the album. They lose the atmosphere and melody of the proper album tracks, and it just kind of feels like they were lazily tacked on in an attempt to fill out the album.
Overall, this albm is really good, I'd dare say it's my album of the year so far this year. Any extreme metal record that can implement clean vocals without them feeling corny, or out of place is certainly worth of some respect, but everything here comes together so well to make for a dark, cold, and weirdly beautiful album.