The Pitch: "The Hellenic commandos now offer the torrential maelstrom of their second proper full-length, Early Cvlts, the album showcasing Natvre's terrorizing yet supremely infectious ‘90s-inspired blackened arts through eight methodical songs recorded at Stelth Sound Studios and completed with artwork by Luca Devinu." FFO: Murg, Taake, Darkthrone
What I Like: When I last covered Natvre's, I was commending them for their highly abrasive debut. Early Cvlts continues along much in this vein, but brings in a few folk and pagan touches early on. The lengthy "Tundra" intro reminds me of playing old top-down RTS's like Warcraft for some reason. It's a simplistic, but effective bit of tension-filled atmosphere...one that is jarringly shattered mere moments later. Once again, Natvre's vocals are among the most heinous of black metal shrieks. They become even more terrifying buried in layers of Burzum-like distortion effects. Combined with a healthy dose of D-beat and crusty power chords, this album is a rollicking Hellenic romp of 2nd wave mayhem. Even so, Natvre's aren't above trying their hand at some slower, but equally ominous, tracks like "Speleogenesis" and "Geometrical Confuse." The latter was giving me a bit of Bölzer vibe.
Critiques: Unless you're egaging in some sprawling, progressive song structures, I think that black metal is better served in shorter doses. Much like punk music, if it's fast and hard you don't generally need more than 3 minutes. "Prototype II," for example, could have been a much stronger track at around 2:30.
The Verdict: Early Cvlts is likely to satisfy 2nd wave purists on a number of levels. It's loud, ferocious, and has no regard for your meager sensibilities. Even so, I wish it tightened up its runtime and played a bit more with variation on the faster tracks. Decide for yourself below.
Flight's Fav's: Death Of The Earth, Early Cults, Something Deeper That Grows
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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