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Naddred – Sluagh

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 June 2017, 11:18 AM

NADDRED are an Irish black Metal Band and this four-track release marks their debut demo.  They aren’t from the frozen North but make no mistake: this band plays straight up, fury ridden, Black Metal just as dark and oppressively evil as any Norwegian band. Obviously, demos are not meant to showcase what a band is truly capable but from the short journey this release offers, it is made very clear the band knows their craft and exactly the direction they want to go in.  There are no keyboards, cleans, female vocals, or epic passages that crossover to other genres.  From the beginning to the end, it’s a non-stop barraging of riffs, screams, and drums.

The first track, “The Four Crowned Prince of Hell,” opens with a light section of clean guitar before a dirge of muddy riffs and crashing cymbals paint a bleak landscape.  Deegan’s guitars are a thick canvas of a dark atmosphere and even squeezes in a bit of groove here and there, as well as guitar leads.  Balor’s vocals are what you would expect: gritty, higher pitched screams and wails wrapped around a voice that sounds like he has swallowed glass (this is a compliment). “Sluagh” is a bit faster, Giller’s intense drumming nearly breaking his snare and the double bass is very speedy.  Praetorian and Deegan’s riffs swirl about, bringing a solid and, I daresay, catchy rhythm section.

The Beast Walks the Earth,” sounds just like a pummeling monster stalking through an ancient world, what with the guitar and bass coming together to form riffs that evoke the very image the title conjurers.  Around the 3:05 mark, the drums go crazy with rolls and fills, hurtling the guitar into a large, head banging riff.  The whole band then comes together into one swirling mass of black metal destruction.  The song never really lets up, everything crashing until the end. If the previous track is the most adventurous (and my favorite), then “The Dullahan,” is definitely the most intense; it’s a showcase for the power of this genre. If anyone asked me what exactly black metal was, having them listen to this song would be a great answer to their question.  Fast riffs, insane drumming, the hellish vocals…everything works like it’s supposed to on this song.  I love the tempo change at 2:57, especially with Giller hammering the drums against the back drop of those awesome riffs and the deep bass.  Another highlight is at 4:10, when Balor is just screaming his ass off while the band lets up for just a few seconds before a short but blistering solo pushes its way through the darkness.

I have found this demo to be very impressive and I’m really looking forward to what this band can do with their sound when they get around to doing a full-length release.  There isn’t a lot of variety here (this isn’t Progressive Black Metal) so if you don’t like true Black Metal then you might want to look elsewhere. If you love the genre then I don’t see any reason why this shouldn’t be on your radar.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Four Crowned Prince of Hell
2. Sluagh
3. The Beast Walks the Earth
4. The Dullahan
Praetorian – Bass
Giller – Drums
Deegan – Guitars
Balor - Vocals
Record Label: Invictus Productions


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