Nightbringer - Terra Damnata [Season of Mist - 2017]Nightbringer were formed in Colorado in 1999 by vocalist/guitarist Naas Alcameth and former guitarist/drummer Nox Corvus. Terra Damnata is their fifth full length release, however the band have released a number of splits with the likes of Aluk Todolo, Dodsengel and Abigor to name just a few. Their last album 'Ego Dominus Tuus' was heavily influenced by the big guns of the Scandinavian Black Metal scene, and whilst those classic influences remain, they have toned their sound into something more uniquely their own.
Opening tracks Wolves Among Ruins shows a band both technically astute but not afraid to play fast and hard. Combining both the technical excellence of Emperor with a good modern black metal sound they kick the album off in style. The production is solid and it’s great to hear black metal sounding clear and crisp. Misrule is up next, following on from the good start it keeps the intensity levels high. Keyboards provide a great accent to the bands sound, never overused like many modern black metal bands, it adds rather than detracts from the menace that is evident for all to hear.
Midnight’s Crown is a brutal slice of delirious black metal goodness, pummelling its way through its six minute length. Of the Key and Crossed Bones is up next, and continues in the same vein of brutal savagery. Let Silence Be His Sacred Name begins with a luscious piano riff before normal service is resumed and lightning fast riffs and blast beats take control. Slower sections to the track however show a different side to Nightbringer and add a little variety to what has up to this point been a fairly brutal assault on the ears.
Inheritor of A Dying World continues down the slower path, adding an almost doomlike presence into the album’s mix. The vocals are clean for the most part and the overall effect is quite interesting. The Lamp of Inverse Light keeps things slow, however the sheer brutality of Inheritor of a Dying World is missing, and the track feels a little out of place if I’m honest, despite the fact I enjoyed it. Final track Serpent Sun returns us to the savage brutality of the earlier tracks, a final slice of orthodox black metal to finish the album off much as it began.
Overall, Terra Damnata is the sort of black metal I like to hear, it manages to steer clear of too many of the trappings of the modern black metal scene, and doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. There is clearly a great deal of thought taken in order to keep the authenticity of their sound. They are fresh but familiar and in these times of syncretic musical stylings it’s great to hear someone creating great orthodox black metal. Darren Charles