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Nazghor - Death's Withered Chants

Death's Withered Chants
by Lauren Fonto at 21 September 2016, 3:11 PM

Nazghor's latest album is a thing of melancholy and unholy beauty. The atmosphere drew me in, and seemed to make time fly by. The organ-filled opening track, Hymnum Mortis, sets the scene for a ritual of a different sort.

For me, a highlight of the album was the guitarists’ composing ability. These guys have a talent for riff craft. Armageddor and Angst create riffs which are interesting enough to hold up over long musical passages, but they also know when variation is needed. I felt that their talents reached their zenith on the tracks “Under a Venomous Spell”, “Craft of the Nihilist” and “Road to Dead Meadows”. While the sound is familiar, the songs are well-written and contain interesting transitions, which are ushered in by riff changes, or drum fills. On a more general note, there are touches of a melodic sound throughout the album, with clean solos and piano or synth parts making an appearance. All these elements work harmoniously together, and are well-placed in the mix.

Something I’ve always enjoyed about black metal is its ability to create a palpable atmosphere through the music. “Aeternum Regno Diaboli” is a haunting track with ghostly chanting which sounds like it’s coming from a cavernous cathedral (or crypt). I was instantly reminded of a scene from the novel “The Ghosts of Sleath”, in which a long-dead knight seemingly rises from his stone tomb. Closer “Death’s Withered Chants” created a distinct feeling of the inevitability of the cycle of life and death. In contrast to the other tracks, this one has more clean vocals (which harmonise with a falsetto part) and a sombre, slow piano melody. Vocalist Nekhrid also brings the usual black metal rasps in this track, which he does with feeling. He is equally adept in both vocal styles.

When I first read up about NAZGHOR, I was expecting a raw, heavily distorted sound, but I enjoyed that the reality was rather different from my expectations. This album is well-crafted, and feels shorter than ten tracks because of the atmosphere which draws you in and distorts time.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Hymnum Mortis
2. Requiem Black Mass
3. Under a Venomous Spell
4. Craft of the Nihilist
5. Road to Dead Meadows
6. Inheritance of the Cross
7. Aeternum Regno Diaboli
8. Complete Unholyness
9. Empire of Graves
10. Death’s Withered Chant
Armageddor – Guitars
Nekhrid – Vocals
Angst – Guitars
Crowlech – Bass 
Record Label: Satanath Records


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