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Natur - Head Of Death

Head Of Death
by Eldad "Blacknasa" Stainbook at 11 October 2012, 8:46 PM

When forming a band I think that there are three options. First, create something new, second, play like other bands and try to be better in some aspects and third, create a fusion of styles out many bands. I think that the first option is the hardest and has lots of risks, maybe people wouldn’t like the style created and sometimes it takes a long time to convince listeners that the newly found or mutated style is good. Plenty of bands take the third option, however many of them take it for granted. When choosing to fusion subgenres there is a need to go after styles that merge well, taking Black Metal and fusing it with Glam is very hard and probably won’t be a successful endeavor. In the case of NATUR they took NWOBHM / MERCYFUL FATE / early METALLICA / IRON MAIDEN and mixed it up. On top it sounds great, however let’s see if they got that magic touch of following their influences and older styles and mixing those together.

The album begins with “Head Of Death”, which is an 8:26 minutes song but not to worry it’s not a Doom epic. It has something like a 2 to 3 minutes intro that does give some idea about the band’s musical pattern and way of getting the best out of their influences. The song incorporates a main riff that doesn’t have anything special, the thing that would keep you interested is the MAIDENish like riffing in the middle led by  a soaring guitar. “The Messenger”maintains the same riffing over and over and yet again it didn’t turn out as tiresome and that’s something to consider. There have been lots of examples like the immortal song of IRON MAIDEN, “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”, which has a nonstop main riff but eventually you are still there with the song. In NATUR’s case, after three minutes or so the song picks up speed while emphasizing the great mix with first stage Speed Metal.

“Decion”, the fourth song and maybe the best song on the album, kicks off with a nice riff, way better than the previous one, however it has a secondary riff, which also shares a few high pitched and squeaky notes, which once again trailed the IRON MAIDEN pattern but provided it with an amazing atmosphere. In addition, the switching of riffing patterns occasionally made this one a solid song. Honorable mention goes to the instrumental part in the album “The Servant”, I mostly dislike instrumental tracks and as I said before I never understood why to use them at all. Yet on this case this instrumental has some kind of cool sound with a slow and low end pitched shrills along with a nice secondary riff. This is pretty much like all NATUR songs when it comes to changes of pace, the bottom line it is a very nice instrumental.

As for a few comments, I have a few, not all bad. First there are the vocals. Weibust must do a better job next time. It seemed to me that he had a hard time keeping up the pace. Second, congrats to the guys from New York, nice to see that there is something different from the East Coast.

I usually don’t find myself contemplating about the rating of an album, however “Head Of Death” left me puzzled. On the surface the album sounds very regular and rather meaningless, nonetheless after listening to it many times I can safely predict that this album brought me back to the days of MERCYFUL FATE and early IRON MAIDEN when NWOBHM was the chief feature in Metal music and its unquestioned ruler. It’s a shame that these days are over and I salute NATUR for returning the smile to my face. I believe that “Head Of Death” is a must have album for all NWOBHM fans worldwide.

A big P.S for the band, this album became one of my weekend home albums that I listen loudly every weekend and that a big thing for me.

4 Star Rating

1. Head Of Death
2. The Messenger
3. Goblin Shark
4. Decion
5. The Servant
6. Vermin Rift
7. Spider Baby
8. Mutations in Maine
Sound Mound- Bass
Tooth Log– Drums / Backing Vocals
Dino Destroyer– Lead Guitars
Weibust– Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitars
Record Label: Earache Records


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