Saturday, November 6, 2010

NATTSOL – Stemning CD review

NATTSOL – Stemning CD
Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge

Normally the storylines behind how bands come together is pretty average so whenever something different comes down the line my interest is peaked. The story of this Norwegian band is a great example. I had read about it this past summer and heard one song off of this release. Since then I’ve wanted to check this out and here I am finally. You have this guy named Erland Antonsen who a few years ago after being in a few other bands decided to start his own musical dream project. He has all the material written and then starts recruiting various full time band members and session people to record his opus. Now after all of that work Erland then picks up and leaves the band just prior to this debut’s release which was this past summer. Not only does he leave the band in the hands of his recruits but he leaves music altogether citing family obligations. Now to me that’s a great story but as far as the music is concerned well its kinda average sounding pagan/folk infused black metal which is nothing really new. In fact the sound conjures up relics from black metal’s second wave.

Upon first listening to Stemning I was imaging IMMORTAL and ULVER crashing into each other on a mountainside during a ski accident. Obviously Erland is influenced by the latter mentioned band since he’s responsible for the acoustic guitar parts and bringing in both male and female session vocalists. You can’t help but hear early ULVER, when they were still black metal, through the shimmering melodies. As far as the IMMORTAL influence goes; the full time band members (aka: the ones who promise to keep the band going) Venomenon, who’s responsible for the harsh sounding vocals and guitarist Nattsjel giving us the frosty riffs. The only major difference is in the production which is clean like a mountainside after an avalanche. That’s to be expected since technology has come along way since the second wave started. Actually if Erland really wanted this to be a complete homage then the sound quality would’ve been altered and it would’ve been horrible especially with the added cleanly sung male and female session vocals. The same could be said with the acoustic guitar parts. I think this is a decent release to add to a collection of other decent pagan/folk infused black metal releases. I see the title of this to be ironic since musically it does stem from some damm great originators.




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