Tuesday 27 September 2016

Nadra - Allir Vegir til Glötunar


1. Fjallið
2. Sál
3. Falið
4. Sár
5. Fallið

The rise of Icelandic black metal in recent times has seemingly come out of nowhere. I realise that "rise" is a strong word but it does seem as though the small but passionate wave of bands hitting people's consciousness are more than serious about their craft and their country's traditions. One name that's been garnering attention is that of Nadra. A cohesive entity since 2008, Nadra only released their first full demo/ep in 2014 via homeland label Vánagandr, a partnership that has remained constant ever since. The turn of the year saw the release of debut full-length "Allir Vegir til Glötunar" on multiple formats via Vánagandr, Signal Rex and Fallen Empire Records respectively, as well as an even more recent EP. By the time you read this, they'll have completed a hometown show alongside American band Mutilation Rites. 

Straight from the off Nadra’s take on black metal sounds truly unique. The screaming lead-guitar that lights up opener Fjallið is amazing and their blasting swathes of noise are punctuated with an icy ambience. The vocals are suitably hellish too but not in a satanic way. There’s clearly a great deal of extremely talented musicianship at play here. Sál is subtly mid-paced compared to the ravaging opener. It sounds more traditional in the melody department yet retains plenty of dissonance and abject beauty. At fourteen+ minutes long, you’d think that Falið would be a slow-burning doom/death track, but it’s not. It’s predecessors pale in comparison. Keeping the momentum going is tough for many bands, but Nadra seems to do it with aplomb. There are times where Falið does indeed slow down but that does nothing to temper the atmosphere created. The melody that sits deep in the mix towards the end of the song is one of the most rewarding aspects of this album, from a listener’s point of view and it’s a testament to how good a band Nadra is. Sár traditional intro shines more light onto Nadra’s homeland, even if it’s only fleeting. What follows is far removed from the folk-movement of the country, not that it could ever be described as easy-listening! Album closer Fallið takes Nadra’s music and returns it back to it’s cold, uninhabitable beginnings. It’s truly terrifying and the screams that are bellowed one last time in their native tongue are equally so. The mid-section is peppered with choral chants and subtle strings that briefly provides some respite. The lead work that opened up “Allir Vegir Til Glötunar” returns for one last. lengthy hurrah and provides the perfect ending to a record that takes the breath away. 

You can stream and purchase a download below:-

The album is available to pre-order/order in various formats from the below labels:-

Vánagandr (Pro tape pre-orders coming soon) - http://algleymi.blogspot.co.uk/p/distro.html
Fallen Empire Records (LP) - http://store.fallenempirerecords.com
Signal Rex (cd) - http://www.signalrex.com/product-category/signal/page/2/

Nadra Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nadraisl
Vánagandr Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ulfsmessa
Fallen Empire Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/FallenEmpireRecords
Signal Rex Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/signalrec

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