NETHERBIRD | THE FEROCIOUS TIDES OF FATE [SWEDISH SYMPHONIC/MELODIC BLACK METAL] REVIEW BY KATIE METCALFE

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Netherbird are a melodic black metal band from Sweden, and have been together since 2004. Their third album The Ferocious Tides of Fate is released via Swedish label Scarecrow Music Group.

The first track Elegance and Sin is heavy with melancholy. It makes you feel as if your spirit is departing really, really slowly from your body. But before long, it builds up into something really fucking furious, smashing all of your senses. There’s a lot of substance in this track and it keeps me captivated. It does come to a point where it’s very quiet and minimal, and there’s some really stunning, haunting guitar work which transports me elsewhere. It then throws itself into something faster once more. Though I ought to mention that every transition is smooth and impressively faultless.

Så Talte Ygg makes me feel as if I’m walking to a lonely market square to watch a hanging in the rain. The vocals are demonic and satisfyingly eerie, helping to conjure this impressively haunting atmosphere.

The vocals in Ashen Roots are fucking devilish. It takes on something of a different tone and is a refreshing change. I have to say that I really admire the diversity within the vocals. It’s bloody excellent to have a band who are willing to experiment and move off the well trodden path. They are doing things differently and it works. Some really quite epic guitar work feeds into the song, bulking it up and making it even more substantial. This track takes on quite an epic feel at times, especially towards the end. It feels quite majestic and massive. They manage all the shifts with such ease. They move from ferocity to an almost calm epicness then back to a brutal savagery, and it all feel as if it’s a natural transition  for them.

Shadow Walkers has a mid paced intro which feels quietly magnificent, though you can tell that it is building into something. It’s catchy and melodic and has me by the throat. There’s a real quality to this track. It feels real and complete and keeps me hooked. The outro is quite lengthy, but that just adds to the atmosphere. There’s a stunning violin section at the end which adds a touch of welcomed folk beauty.

Along The Colonnades has a slow, creepy intro, one that penetrates deep into your bones. Again, this track takes a different turn, which only proves further their ability to diversify and experiment. The track gradually builds up, but doesn’t have quite the same gripping power as the other tracks did. I find myself wanting more to happen. It does begin to pick up just after the mid-way point, and becomes a feast for the ears.

The final track Of The Setting Sun has quite an epic intro. It feels slightly chaotic. But there’s a lot of experimentation going on, which makes for a satisfying listen. It’s a strong, solid ending.

This album was an experience I’ll want to repeat time and again. Really looking forward to their next release.

[8/10]

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