Nokturnal Mortum
NeChrist


4.0
excellent

Review

by metalhead2425 USER (2 Reviews)
April 8th, 2019 | 10 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent but disjointed excursion into Folk/Symphonic Black Metal

A little over a year after their previous effort, To Gates of Blasphemous Fire, Nokturnal Mortum were once again back in the black metal spotlight with NeChrist (which translates to heathen), an album that has garnered its fair share of both positive and negative reception since its initial release in 1999. The album is often seen as the most uneven in the Nokturnal Mortum catalog and is said by many to be an incoherent mess made worse by the band’s adoption of National Socialist views on songs like “The Call of Aryan Spirit”. Despite its detractors, the album also has its fair share of fans that cite it as being one of Nokturnal Mortum’s best releases in their entire catalog.

As stated before, the sound on NeChrist has been described as disjointed and incoherent by many. This is somewhat true. The tone of the album changes very sporadically, not only from song to song, but inside of the songs themselves. The first song, “Black Raven”, for example, starts off with a Ukrainian folk intro before launching into a flurry of blast beats and synths reminiscent of the ones found on the bands previous effort. After about a minute and a half of this, the song goes into a folk part that comes out of nowhere and completely changes the tone before once again going into an extremely fast black metal riff. NeChrist does stuff like this constantly. It often goes from symphonic parts, to parts with tremolo picked riffs and blast beats/double bass, to folk parts, and back at random. While this may sound like a bad thing, it actually works quite well. It makes the album not only unpredictable, but just interesting overall. NeChrist actually has a lot of variety which was something that the previous album lacked.

As far as musicianship goes, Nokturnal Mortum never disappoint. As previously stated, the album contains a lot of fast riffs and drumming. Both of these aspects of the album are excellently preformed. Nokturnal Mortum’s drummer at the time, who goes by the pseudonym Munruthel, plays extremely fast blast beats and double bass throughout the entire album. The drums on the album are recorded quite well, so it is easy to hear almost everything he is playing at all times. Knjaz Varggoth’s vocals and guitar playing are also both excellently executed, however, the guitar tone is a bit strange. The guitar tone on NeChrist is very bass heavy and thick. Because of this, the riffs can sometimes be hard to clearly make out in the more chaotic parts of the album, but the production on them is still quite passable for black metal and works well with the heavier sections of the album. The bass on the other hand, like with many metal albums, is completely inaudible save for the song “Death Damnation” where the band decided to make it louder than every other instrument in the mix. A strange choice, but the bass lines are interesting so it works. Like with the previous two Nokturnal Mortum albums, NeChrist has two keyboardists performing on it, however due to a lack of focus on the symphonic aspects of the previous two albums, they are not fully utilized on the album. When they are used, their contributions to the music are solid, albeit sometimes hard to make out clearly due to the production.

Despite the random nature of the album, NeChrist is actually quite consistent in its disjointedness. All of the songs sound similar both in production and songwriting making it hard to really talk about specific songs. One of the only songs that really changes the formula is "NeChrist: The Dance of the Swords” which is a lot slower than the rest of the album and reminds me of the polish black metal band Graveland. Other standouts include “The Child of Swamps and Full Moon” and the infamous “The Call of Aryan Spirit” which both contain excellent riffs and songwriting.

Despite its faults, NeChrist is still a very unique album that deserves the attention of anyone who is a fan of Nokturnal Mortum or black metal in general. It’s not for everyone but if you can get past the unusual production and NS views that the band had at the time, NeChrist is a great listen.


user ratings (79)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
metalhead2425
April 8th 2019


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nokturnal Mortum is one of my favorite bands, but for whatever reason I found this harder to write about than Killing Joke. Constructive criticism would be appreciated. Let me know if I should fix anything.

Dimorphic
April 9th 2019


591 Comments


Great review of a great band. My only criticism is that it wasn't a review of Virgin Sails by Satan's Host.

metalhead2425
April 9th 2019


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man! I’ve never heard that Satan’s Host album before but it looks pretty killer. I’ll have to check it out.

Hawks
April 9th 2019


69379 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn nice. m/

Digging: Remete (AUS) - Into Endless Night

Dimorphic
April 9th 2019


591 Comments


Best vocal performance of any metal musician in history, apart from Ronnie James Dio, and I do absolutely rank it above peak Bruce Dickinson, despite being a massive BruceBruce fanboy. Check it out!

In regards to your review, I completely agree with the last 2 paragraphs tbh. Love this band. I always find it hilarious how people will decry racism and shout about a band like this being NS and holding NS beliefs, then logging in a week later and talking about how Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Det Som Engang Var were musical masterpieces, then memeing about Varg and how krieg and trve and kvlt he is. Where is the consistency?

metalhead2425
April 9th 2019


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will do

I completely agree. What’s even more hypocritical is that, unlike Varg, Nokturnal Mortum later renounced the NS views that they expressed on this album and still get called NSBM. You can’t even buy their stuff on sites like discogs.





Hawks
April 9th 2019


69379 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don’t give a fuck what they talk about as long as the music rules. This album is underrated as hell.

metalhead2425
April 9th 2019


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I definitely agree. Album kills.

Vanquisher
April 18th 2019


4 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I’m so disappointed none of their albums are on Apple USA.

metalhead2425
April 18th 2019


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell's Headbangers has some of their albums on CD and Vinyl if you are after a physical copy.



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