Setherial - _Nord_
(Napalm Records, 1996)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Hearing the first ten seconds of this CD, I thought "Wow, these guys sound a lot like Immortal." By the time the opening track had ended, they had me thinking "Yep - at least, if Immortal played twelve minute songs featuring totally crazy riffs, sounding every bit as 'epic' as Emperor, and incorporating lots of cool (and surprisingly deft) instrumental flourishes much like Abigor." It's super-fast black metal all the way, and if you ask me, Setherial kick out this frantic style with as much conviction and -more- creative flair than any of the scene's better known bands. They've essentially perfected every element of the style Emperor pioneered, blasting at incredible speeds through frozen soundscapes lashed by jagged guitar lines and screaming vocals, ocasionally layering cool acoustic passages and unobtrusive keyboards into the mix. Most importantly, they've packed some really interesting, super-fast riffs into every track - something which too many otherwise-solid black metal bands don't do. The blazing guitars in "I Nattens Famn" and "Morkrets Tid" have to be heard to be believed, and the drumming is just amazing. Recorded at Peter Tatgren's Abyss Studio and produced by the band, the sound quality on _Nord_ is as good as anything else in this scene, and better than most of it. And the quality of the music is unparalleled, I think, by any other band in the genre. Killer release.
(article published 7/17/1996)
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