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Ordinul Negru – Nebuisa Award winner

Ordinul Negru
Nebuisa
by Brian Lowrie at 30 November 2020, 6:58 PM

I’m starting to feel a little spoiled this year with all of the awesome black metal releases. But hey, pandemic-induced self-isolation (ergo, lack of live performances) has forced most bands to shift their focus solely on music writing. So, in lieu of being showered with new albums, maybe 2020 isn’t too terrible? All meandering aside, the newest release from ORDINUL NEGRU is one of the few that I want to actually purchase multiple physical copies of, just so I can hand them out to my friends. Although the entire EP is roughly 25 minutes (which, needless to say, is quick for a modern black metal album), there is something here for every fan of a sub-subgenre of black metal. The whole EP is a well-executed balancing act between atmospheric passages that numb you to the core, and riffs that will make you have a one-man circle pit in your living room, transitioned by bridges that aren’t subtle, yet not unwarranted either. To put it simply: this is just a f***in’ smartly done EP.

Opening up with an ever so slight post-rock influenced daydream, “Nebuisa” excels at displaying just how volatile this band can be. This track isn’t afraid to go from a slow crawl one moment, and into blast-beaten dissonance the next, sometimes without any warning. This track is interesting, as it applies a mysticism not unlike Blut Aus Nord’s Memoria Vetusta II, and feels like a constantly swirling concoction of pessimism and hope. “Vodevil Isais” explores this idea further, taking the radical ends of this spectrum and using them as contrasting points. The track starts with a flurry of traditional blackened chordal passages, using more varied vocal styles to carry the message, eventually dropping off into more grandiose tremolo-picked melodies. The use of female clean vocals by Alexandra Nedel on this track is also noteworthy, as the tone isn’t obnoxious or deterring, but actually lends itself to the song with a sense of purpose (something that I feel is often overlooked in a lot of guest spots).

“Maldoror” is something I would consider to be the “low-point” of the album; with that being said, this track doesn’t really have major discrepancies. Setting the tone at what is arguably the darkest from the EP, this track feels more ceremonious, compared to the other songs’ focus of being more theatrical. The slow and ominous pacing of this song, along with the occassional orchestral overlay, will be a little polarizing to anyone who enjoyed the first two tracks, as it tends to stick out like a sore thumb, but a little variety is never a bad thing. Carrying this forward into “Triskelion and the Chronograph”, a track that was originally composed with a 21-minute length, the aura is familiar yet again, as the track opens with the same bravado of the imposing confidence of a Watain track. This track refers back to the balancing act between epic and aggressive, all linked together via intricacy and tight musicianship all around. However, during the track’s final third, the guitar tones are allowed to ring out, ending with a callback to the verse riff; this was a moment, few and far between, that actually sent chills down my spine, as I love a warranted return to emotional melody in a hard-hitting form.

Looking back at my review, I feel like I haven’t sad anything bad about this EP, which is pretty out-of-character for me. But truth is, I really don’t have any complaints about this release; The production is clean as a whistle, the instrumentation excels at being both beautiful and dismal, rarely straying too far into one side more than the other; the vocals, as well as dynamic range of the album, is diverse, and shows the band is not just a one-trick-pony. The band released a statement regarding that this EP would dictate the creative future of the band, and I couldn’t be more on board with the idea, however I am curious to see how these concepts fair with being stretched out over a full length.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Nebuisa
2. Vodevil Isais
3. Maldoror
4. Triskelion and the Chronograph
Lineup:
Fulmineos – Guitars, Vocals
Urmuz – Guitars, Vocals
Orthos – Bass
Putrid – Drums
Record Label: Loud Rage Music
     


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Edited 24 January 2021
 

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