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Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods

The Dread March of Solemn Gods
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 June 2021, 2:53 PM

NINKHARSAG was formed in 2009 with one desire; to create cold, majestic Black Metal in the classic, unspoiled style of old. Drawing inspiration from masters such as MERCYFUL FATE, BARHORY, METALLICA to the Scandinavian scions of the 90’s like EMPEROR, DISSECTION & MAYHEM, NINKHARSAG rapidly established themselves in the UK as a unique and powerful force on the Black Metal scene and quickly set to work on their first full length album. Fast forward to 2021, now signed with Vendetta Records, and the band presents their newest album here, titled “The Dread March of Solemn Gods.” The album contains nine tracks.

“Night Wrath” leads off the album. Cold, evil sounds open the song, leading to a heavy charge of guitars, drums and a meaty bass line. There are some really nice, harmonic lead guitars here. But the darkness will consume you. “The Dread March of Solemn Gods” is more traditional when it comes to the Black Metal genre…machine gun drumming, vocal screams, and a heavy bed of guitars and bass. It settles into a groove where it opens up a bit. “Under the Dead of Night” is over six-minutes of harrowing guitars and vocals, with vocals screams and some accents in the guitar work.

“Lunar Hex; The Art of Mighty Lycanthropy” is a shorter song but with no less intensity. The harmonic leads in the opening are well-done, but then it falls into the trap of sounding like many of the other songs on the album. “The Necromanteion” begins with a change of pacing at first, with slow, powerful guitars and audible bass, but soon falls into chaos. They find their sound and they stick with it. “Discipline Through Black Sorcery” is more of the same…fast picked guitars and the sounds of a locomotive engine going off the rails. If it’s even possible, this song has even more energy to it. “The Tower of Perpetual Twilight” is again, more of the same. The band could at least try to mix in some diversity here, but no, it’s full steam ahead with the same sound.

The remaining two songs sound exactly as the others on the album. Black Metal can typically go one of two ways…the traditional route, or the experimental route. I much prefer the later, because the former has been done, and re-done, ad nausem. Unfortunately, we have the former style here. I just don’t understand why a band would want to hang their hat on a style that is recycled, again and again. It’s brutal and unyielding, I will give it that. Purists may really enjoy this, but it’s nothing more than a copy of the FWOBM for me.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Night Wrath
2. The Dread March of Solemn Gods
3. Under the Dead of Night
4. Lunar Hex; The Art of Mighty Lycanthropy
5. The Necromanteion
6. Discipline Through Black Sorcery
7. The Tower of Perpetual Twilight
8. Spectres of The Ancient World
9. Strigoi Diabolicum
Kyle Nesbitt – Vocals & Guitar
Paul Armitstead – Guitar
James Pipprell – Drums
Aleksandar Kokai – Bass
Record Label: Vendetta Records


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