NachtliederCoverOne woman black metal band Nachtlieder hails from Sweden, and has been on the scene since 2008. This self-titled album is released via US based label Unmerciful Death Productions and has a awesomely dark, atmospheric cover. The leading lady Dagny Susanne cites desolation, loneliness, misanthropy and nature as her influences.

The first track, A Spell of Good Fortune, makes an excellent first impression, with stellar guitar work and hellish vocals. There’s a definite old school feel about it, though I have to stress the production is absolutely excellent. There are moments when the guitar does remind me of Peste Noire. The tone and tempo chop and change repeatedly, keeping you on your toes. It’s a really tight, strong track, and makes for a great start to the album.

Susanne’s vocals in the second track, Deviation are aggressive and powerful, backed by substantial, interesting riffs. There’s a vast amount of diversity in this track, and I really admire her willingness to branch out. At moments, the track does feel quite epic, and the guitar work at times makes me think of Watain.

A Meager Escapism weaves in some unexpected violin pieces, which work to add a real sinister air of mystery. The vocals in this track are hauntingly demonic and harsh. There’s an almost militant sound to the drums, which contrasts with the vocals and violin. The violin brings a strong, Scandinavian folk feel to the track at times, which is really enjoyable.

Leave The View To The Rats at moments takes on something of a light feel, almost folk like, but catchy and distinct. Then the grim vocals come through and make it sound especially ominous. The multi-layering that’s going on in this album is majorly impressive.

Sing My Last Breath starts off with a gloomy, very distorted feel. There’s an atmosphere of trepidation here, and when the vocals emerge they’re little more than a whisper. I really like this track, and it reminds me of numerous bands including Vali, Dornenreich and Syven.

Passages is a stark contrast to what came before, and kicks off with a fast paced guitar riff, though it’s really catchy and hauls you along. At moments there’s something of occult rock feel.

Beyond Death is a full, intense track that’s all consuming.

It takes a while for the final track Vengeance to kick in, and I find myself urging it on a bit. When it does kick in though you find it was well worth the wait. The end has a disorientating effect, which leaves you feeling a bit dazed.

For a first album, this is a phenomenal success. The variety I encountered is praiseworthy, as are the vocals and the laying. Highly recommended.  [9]