Setherial - _Lords of the Nightrealm_
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Formerly, this gaggle of corpse-painted prodigies were proud purveyors of ambitious, atmospheric, outdoorsy black metal in the style of Emperor: just check out _Nord_, the band's truly excellent debut. Now, after some lineup changes, Setherial offer up 47 minutes of no-nonsense, harrowing black aggression ala Marduk or Dark Funeral. Discerning metallians may well infer from this comparison that _Lords_ is not exactly teeming with musical variety -- and it's not, in addition to being barren of any real originality. Still, it contains plenty of simple-but-effective riffs and oodles of overdriven speed, along with just enough variation and flow to make this, in my opinion, the strongest album yet to emerge from the Marduk-Abyss-DF-Immortal school of straight-out hyper-blast. Unlike Marduk, this record doesn't degenerate into musical tedium once the novelty of its incredible intensity wears off, and, unlike Dark Funeral, Setherial isn't lame. Rather than blast-beating themselves into a repetitive rut, these guys blend ferocity with structural fluidity, and they do it with the help of some great riffs: stark, pained, sometimes haunting, eerily draped over incessant drum detonation and strident flame-thrower vox. Needless to say, the drumming is incredible; good production, too. All in all, this is too formulaic to really knock my socks off, but as the saying goes, it most certainly does "kick ass" -- the offending boot, in this case, being of the flamingrimspeedexplosionmetal variety currently sported by many a sword-wielding Swede.
(article published 2/5/1997)
All contents copyright 1995-2014 their individual creators. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
All opinions expressed in Chronicles of Chaos are opinions held at the time of writing by the individuals expressing them.
They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else, past or present.