Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nauthisuruz - Sanity Funeral (2007)

Ok. So the logo is pretty naff. And the psychedelic-blood-vomit-swirl Stonehenge album cover is a bit dated. It's also self-produced "symphonic black/doom/avant garde metal with elements of neo-classics and electronics" from Russia. But don't let any of that put you off. Nauthisuruz may very well be Russia's answer to Summoning.

To call this album "epic" or "synth-laden" would be an understatement akin to suggesting that Paul Gilbert plays "a bit" of guitar. Though essentially guitar driven atmospheric black metal, half the album is comprised of ambient noodlings between each of the "proper" tracks. The blend between them is fairly seamless for the most part and the synth allows a majestic flow between each composition (see 'Purification of Energy' and 'Occult Reality'). The album as whole therefore is a complete piece that's much more than the some of its parts. It's a musical journey that ebbs and flows between soothing synth and distortion driven aggression. Close your eyes and you may find yourself fleeing the Nothing aback Falkor, before plumetting toward an abyss and into a climactic battle against Gmork.

The distant, ethereal vocals are textbook Summoning, but a broader range is showcased on the more aggressive numbers such as 'Chaos Is Eternal' or 'Deep Rage'. The wispy distant production is carried through to the guitars but without losing a meaty punch during the faster sections. An occasionally soaring lead punctures the mix, wistfully carried by the complementary strings. The synth work itself is blended naturally and at no point becomes overbearing, nor are the programmed drums an annoyance. It's a little rough around the edges in places admittedly but the album is carried with a feeling of majesty.

If only more bands listened to Summoning instead of trying to re-arrange tired At The Gates riffs. This isn't so much worship as homage with enough distinctions to stand out on its own. It's not quite perfect, there's a few clumsy sections and some of the ambient tracks don't add a whole lot to the proceedings. Either way, Nauthisuruz are very much deserving of one those "awesome favourite new band that no-one will ever hear about" titles. Given that all three of their albums are available, for free, from their website there really isn't any excuse. Sombre, beautiful, aggressive and majestic all at once.



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