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Natur - Afternoon Nightmare Award winner

Natur
Afternoon Nightmare
by Barbie Rose at 09 March 2021, 7:01 AM

Straight out of the eighties, Long Hair, Leather, and Denim clad, NATUR releases a March 26, 2021 CD version of “Afternoon Nightmare”. NATUR released a live album entitled “Smoking Mirrors“ in 2017; released an E.P. entitled “The Invitation” in 2015; released a full length album entitled “Head Of Death” in June of 2012. NATUR split the space with the rock band HESSIAN for an E.P. with NATUR a single song entitled ”Vermin Rift” in October 2011–after the original NATUR release of a DEMO in 2010.

“Afternoon Nightmare” - the first album track opens with progressions that revolve around the fourth–this is unique, and, ultimately interesting!   Immediate harmonic chord progressions (via roots) are melodic and convey unexpected rhythmic dispositions.  The rhythmic snare accentuations of Tooth Log will keep you on your feet with your ears perked.  NATUR’S heaviness & timbre may seem similar to Dio’s BLACK SABBATH - but in the world of metal & music in general–this is new and innovative.

“Poison King” - the second album track opens with an ornamented root (that tonicizes the lower dominant by an escape tone. The flat sixth scale degree is the accentuated part of the harmonic progression. I absolutely love the dynamics of Tooth Log.  At about half through the tune, the natural minor progression uses an accidental sharp to highlight the leading tone - and the intervallic minor third between the flat six and the leading tone moves this to harmonic minor tonality. Dino Destroyer adds melodic leads both as a traditional guitar solo - and the song breaks open into a continuous rhythmic & melodic development (oh what magic!) amidst the harmonic minor–sometimes tonicizing various scale degrees as the rhythmic energy between Mexicutioner & Tooth Log progressively increases with intensity & vigor until the song finishes.

“The Contract” - the third album track opens with Dino Destroyer’s leads harmonizing a simple chord progression further ornamented by Mexicutioner. The song opens rhythmically at about one minute and forty seconds. Guitars and bass divide melodies into a contrapuntal conversation.  Ryan Weibust returns with vocals for about thirty seconds; before an excited recapitulation of the head resounds (as first played at about one minute forty seconds). “Sick Of Dying” - the fourth album track opens with two guitars playing different leads. The song’s motif uses chromaticism against the root and descends into the flat sixth (one chromatic step above the lower dominant).  After the guitar solo, Mexicutioner plays a contrapuntal melody against the rhythm guitars, but, together in harmonic opposition, ornaments the song nicely.

“Metal Henge” - the fifth album track opens in twelve eight (moderately fast triplets over a slower four four pulse).  Rhythm guitars play the root chord to then descend one who step, (four beats each); Dino Destroyer adds ornamental pull-offs in the six-eight feel–this is the magic of the twelve eight time signature; while synthesizers in the sound of an organ harmonize the planning  progression. Tooth Log easily glides along the ride cymbal with the doubled six count of the twelve eight metrics.  This is a sonorous garden of deadly flowers. The song opens to a traditional metal tune by about one minute - and synthesizers carry the foreboding harmonization. At points throughout the song Dino Destroyer uses leads to harmonize the vocals of Ryan Weibust.  I love Dino Destroyer’s style and how appropriately he utilizes the articulations of pull-off. The song ends with that which would be a typical rhythm guitar descent of power chords - but with NATUR - it’s so musically appropriate!

“Mary Cross” - the sixth album track opens slowly with guitars dividing the beat with eighth note patterns. Keyboards slowly ornament the sound with aural harmony. Rhythms open to double time at about one minute into the song. Before two minutes pass, the pulse modulates to a “two/two” feel that soon Mexicutioner subdives while Tooth Log moves back to double time in perfect synchronization.  The songs tonicizes the lower dominant - and adds additional interesting harmonic acrobatics with subsequent modulations that Dino Destroyer highlights with leads. “The Friend” - the seventh album track opens with synthesizers playing a countrapontal harmonization, mildly demonic in aural timbre, that endures for an approximate minute.

“Unsolved Mysteries” - the eighth album track opens with acoustic guitars, slow & pensive, with  distorted leads reminiscent of Mercyful Fate’s “To One Far Away”. At about one minute, Hell Gate opens and listeners feel the raging waters. Tooth Log plays a thrash style eighth note snare pattern while the guitars play a speedy sixteenth note rhythm both unmuted and undivided.  I am really loving the accents & dynamics of Tooth Log–these features together with unmuted rhythm guitars exacerbate the rhythmic vigor. Nothing but perfectly melodic & unpretentious leads recur with Dino Destroyer. Mexicutioner & Tooth Log roll through an easy groove while Ryan Weibust & Dino Destroyer, between them, subdivide the rhythmic beat while scratching with the rhythm guitars–adding melodic accidental neighbor tones with sharp fifths. While reminiscent of MERCYFUL FATE, replete with harmonic & rhythmic modulations, this is exciting & new & an absolute pleasure to hear.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production:  10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Afternoon Nightmare
2. Poison King
3. The Contract
4. Sick of Dying
5. Metal Henge
6. Mary Cross
7. The Friend
8. Unsolved Mysteries
Lineup:
Ryan Weibust - Vocals & Guitars
Dino Destroyer - Lead Guitars
Mexicutioner - Bass
Tooth Log - Drums & Vocals
Record Label: Dying Victim Productions
     


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