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Nawather - Wasted Years

Wasted Years
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 September 2016, 5:39 AM

NAWATHER is a Progressive Metal band with Middle Eastern Folk influences based out of the country of Tunisia. Formed in 2013, “Wasted Years” is the band’s debut album, and contains nine tracks. To start with, I had to google what the instrument “qanun” was. It turns out it is a middle-eastern boxed string instrument, more similar to a dulcimer than a harp. “Portals of Edinya” is a brief opening track without vocals. There is definitely a middle-eastern feel to the song, almost like something you might hear as entertainment in an outdoor marketplace. “Falling Down the Slope” is led by male Death vocals that are supplanted at times with clean female leads, that mostly take the form of long-held chants. The qanun is prominent in the sound but there is plenty of other things going on as well. You can follow the pattern of the song in a linear fashion but keep your ears open so you don’t miss things.

“Daret Layyem” dances in and about with string and drum before the rest of the instruments join the fold. Ryma sings in this song with a delicate voice and the Progressive elements of the album are more noteworthy here. It has layers and texture but it also easy to comprehend. I love the fact that the direction sometimes surprises me but always pleasingly. This time the vocals fry are the augmenter. “Raped Dreams” is a harsh title for a song that goes deeper and darker than previous tracks. The Death vocals take the lead here and some electronica beats heavily in the background. The sounds is definitely mysterious as if someone was indeed poking around your head while you were dreaming. I love the variety of instrumentation as well. Very well crafted. “Time to Raise the Curtains” is a mid-tempo number that features both vocalists in a “sing and reply” sort of method. The song is tentative and suspenseful as it builds an atmosphere rather than driving right over you.

“Defnouna” has somewhat of a sad sound and there is definitely a tale being told here. It hits your emotional senses and your Metal senses at the same time, creating a longing in your heart. “Succubus Romance” falls more on the introspective sound but with a sense of something ominous to come. The Death vocals are whispered at times which makes it both mystical and enigmatic. “Kont Trab” is the closing track, clocking in at over six minutes. Bells ring in the beginning and are soon joined by strings and keys, locking together with all of the ability of a seasoned symphony. I guarantee you haven’t heard this sound before. Stylistically it registers as Progressive and sometimes close to Symphonic Metal, but the middle-eastern sound gives it a unique twist. For a debut album, their songwriting and timing is impressive. It’s heavy enough to please traditional Metalheads and Progressive enough for people who appreciate complexity, prowess and depth.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Portals to Edinya
2, Falling Down the Slope
3. Daret Layyem
4. Raped Dreams
5. Broken Winged Bird
6. Time to Rise the Curtains
7. Defnouna
8. Succubus Romance
9. Kont Trab
Hichem Ben Amara – Bass
Saif Ouhibi – Drums
Yazid Bounafif – Guitars
Nidhal Jaoua – Qanun
Raouf J Occulta – Vocals
Ryma Nakkach – Vocals
Record Label: M&O Music


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Edited 29 September 2022

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