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Into the Vast Uncharted - Netherbird

This year's black metal album?

With Into the Vast Uncharted manages Netherbird to make an album that not only meets the requirements, you may have a good metal albums, but they also show that they can mix genres and styles in a way that is new and fresh without sounding to searched. The album's melodic and progressive tendencies also get the music to hit the listener on an emotional level, which is not always the case in a genre that often only accepts constant blastbeats and tremolopicking. The album's only serious flaw is the lack of dynamics in the mix. For once the music has so many facets that it has, it's a bit too bad that this is not quite in the same degree in the production. Despite this I would still argue that Into the Vast Uncharted has good potential to be one of the year's best black-albums, and that it at least affirms, that Netherbird are among the elite of the Swedish black metal scene!

The Norwegian-Swedish metalfejde

When people talk about black metal, it would probably be Norway, the first country most people associate with the genre. This is not something strange, since Norway was the epicenter of the genre's second wave, which paved the way for many of the bands that have since proven to be some of the most popular among today's metalheads. This does not mean, however, that one should forget their broderfolk to the east. For, though the swedes may arrived slightly later to the somber black-party, they have through the years shown that they also can create dark and gloomy black metal, which, for example, they have proven through time with names as Dissection, Marduk and Dark Funeral. Now is the time for Netherbird to try forces with the now old genre, and to show whether or not they should be mentioned among the previously mentioned bands, when the talk goes on the big names of the Swedish black metal scene.

Progressive, melodic and innovative black metal

Simply call the Netherbird for a black metal band, would not quite be 100 per cent. adequate, for they can, in truth, much more than just that. The band manages with Into the Vast Uncharted greatly to mix black metal with the more melodic and with classical rockelementer, which particularly is apparent in the solos. This can be heard f.ex. in the Slash/Buckethead-style guitar solo in the also quite fine "Eventide Evangel". This song is also a pragteksemplar on the band's sangskrivningsevner as, in just under five minutes takes the listener on a musical journey from the nice and neat acoustic guitar over the heavy and dark black metal, and eventually into the aforementioned very classic rock guitar solo and then back to the clean fingerspilsguitar. In addition, it should also be mentioned that the band manages to create an expression of vulnerability and tenderness, with the very evocative acoustic guitar, which sometimes is in short supply in their genre. Through the song's progressive development, shows the well, that they can almost have as much in common with their fellow countrymen in Opeth, as they have with for example Dark Funeral.

The similarities to Opeth is also to track of the rest of the plate. Listen f.ex. for the intro to the second song, "Harvest the Stars", where the interaction between the cells are and the more melodic lead in the high degree can give associations to many of the songs from the Band magnum opus, Blackwater Park. If you are into classic and dark black metal, one must not look for too long through the album to find it. A good example of this can be heard in the song "Mercury Skies", with its tremolopickede and discordant riff is more or less everything you could want in a black metal album. However, it should be mentioned that even this song manages to have something more than just the most typical black metal trends. The song is greatly also very melodic, which is perhaps a necessity in order to keep it interesting, as it lasts just under nine minutes...

>> Check the songs and lyrics here