Self Released 2011
1.Singularity 2.Jacob's Ladder 3.Seven Broken Halos 4.Terra Nova 5.Into The Mist
6.Deliverance 7.Tusked In The Throat 8.Rise To Fall 9.The Crown Of Lead 10.Atropos
11.Beneath The Surface 12.Of Stars And Shadow
Right from the off there is an intensity surrounding NAE, a foreboding atmosphere created and maintained throughout the entire cd. Opener ‘The Singularity’ setting the tone, heavy blackened death metal with some added melody to spice things up. It works perfectly, especially the use of scathing, screamed black metal style vocals. An ominous mood is set. ‘Jacob’s ladder’ continues the theme only with a more melodic edge, guitar solos used over the more melodic, slower passages. There’s a real feeling of sorrow when the pace is slowed, the band sounding like they have just been told their mothers have been murdered and then deciding to write a song. ‘Seven Broken Halos’ starts very melodically, but then thunders in with chest rattling heaviness, the song been worked to a crescendo of frantic and intricate riffing.
‘Terra Nova’ opens up in a whirlwind of pinch harmonic riffing and blasting drums. There’s a sense of urgency with this track, it feels as though NAE want to get their message to you as brutally as possible, which they definitely manage to do. When the track slows and the melody is introduced it again feels like the band are telling you their bad news of the loss of a loved one. Compelling stuff! This track also introduces some black metal ‘tremolo’ styled riffing which only adds to a growing sense of despair. Although there is a sense of melody to the guitars, they manage to retain that heavy as fuck death metal feel which is really appealing. I was very surprised to read that the drums aren’t actually drums, but a drum machine. They sound very natural, very drum like (which is rare, as drum machines very often sound like drum machines on a lot of releases – too clinical, too precise). You could imagine a human behind the kit drumming to this, as the drum patterns used don’t take advantage of the fact it is a machine playing them by playing at inhuman speeds or stupidly precise rolls and fills.
‘Deliverance’ showcases the bands more technical edge, the guitar work first class, the fret board obviously taking a beating! What works so well with this cd is the mix of brutality and melody, NAE finding the perfect mix, never over-doing one against the other. ‘Tusked In The Throat’ shows a different edge to the band’s sound, introducing industrial tinged vocals with ‘sing-along’ choruses which to my surprise, works well and doesn’t sound out of place which you might expect given the differences in sound. Is it possible for a band to have a nasty and evil sound, yet be catchy at the same time? I believe it is. For all the melody on show, NOE never lose that sense of despair, the evil sound crafted well to include melody but to never lose its edge. ‘Atropos’ even shows a groovier edge to the band’s sound, the track almost ‘bouncing’ along in a cess pit of groove inspired nastiness. This is a monster, coming in at 60 minutes over 12 tracks, every track offering a great listening experience. Never becoming repetitive or uninteresting, 60 minutes might seem a long time, but it will be time well spent if you’re listening to this! Procceedings are ended with an 8 minute instrumental track ‘Of Stars And Shadows’ incorporating all of the bands influences and sounds, a fitting finale to what is a very impressive cd. Heavy as fuck blackened death metal. Brutal and melodic; catchy yet evil. Well recommended.
8 out of 10