The Pitch: Colorado's Nightbringer brings forth more black metal abominations; further "contemplations on the mysteries of death as it is understood in the tradition of the art magical" via Season of Mist. FFO Akhlys, Cult of Fire, Outre
What I Like: I was a relative latecomer to this band, though I was very familiar with one of Naas Alcameth's other projects, Akhlys; which I absolutely adore. Nightbringer has an approach that is perhaps more straightforward in comparison to Akhlys' focus on atmospheric dread, but both of them bring the same power to the table. The vocals cut through me like a hot knife. I am in awe of just how inhumanly grim they are. I'd have an easier time believing that this is a recording of some real life warlock than a mere mortal person. And when they aren't vicious, animalistic snarls; they become equally terrifying prophetic wails from a dark pulpit. Behind all of this is an incredible wall of symphonic sound not far from early Emperor, but always with trademark squealing guitar tremolo leads flickering about like deranged will-o-the-wisps. "Let Silence be His Sacred Name" is perhaps my favorite composition on the album, though I also like the weird, off-tempo Gorguts influences on "Inheritor of a Dying World."
What I Don't Like: I expected a little more. Some of the earlier songs feel a little repetetive and on the long side. I know that those on The Dreaming I are even longer, but their compositional structures lended themselves better to building tension and atmosphere; providing a more immersive, engaging experience. Again, "Let Silence be His Sacred Name" is a good example of where these elements do come together. It is after this point on the album where much of the best black magic happens.
The Verdict: A bit of a slow-starter for me, but the highlights make it one impossible to miss. If you like your black metal to feel like you're attending a black mass at the end of times, Terra Damnata shouldn't dissapoint. Pick it up tomorrow.
Flight's Fav's: Let Silence be His Sacred Name, Misrule, Inheritor of a Dying World