Nahtrunar - Symbolismus [Altare Productions - 2015]You know those days where you wake up and then go to bed without accomplishing anything at all? That’s basically the feeling you get from Nahtrunar’s Symbolismus, which is especially disappointing, considering the album is thematically about the time of year when the world of the spirits connects with ours.
For all of the talk about dreams, visions, blurred lines, and spirits, Symbolismus is a wholly pedestrian album, walking the well-trodden path of standard black metal without so much as a hiccup or ghostly encounter. “Auf Totentritt durch Innernächte” has perhaps some early Gorgoroth influence creeping in, but the rest of the album is a generic mix second wave mush, so much so that it’s difficult to differentiate from all of the faceless bands that collectively lick at the boots of Darkthrone and Mayhem.
The sole attempt at deviating from the mold sees Nahtrunar fail miserably, as they throw four useless acoustic interludes into the mix. Splitting up the album into five separate pieces, these serve no purpose other than to pad the album. They don’t match with the black metal tracks, and they don’t stand up on their own. “(IV)” is the worst of these, playing out a goofy folky dance tune that has no connection to the rest of the album. The rest of the album is just as scatterbrained, with moments of dissonance, melody, and atmosphere, but nothing that manages to imbue the album with a degree of feeling. The album is weak and impassionate at best, and downright embarrassing at worst.
This is my first encounter with these Austrians, and I can’t say it was a positive one. At best, Symbolismus is a boring exercise in black metal. There is nothing worth seeing here. Tyler L.