Nehemah - _Requiem Tenebrae_
(Oaken Shield / Adipocere, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8.5 out of 10)
Now reduced to a three-piece, with Sorghal taking up all guitar duties, the long-standing Nehemah return to the fray with their third full-length album, _Requiem Tenebrae_ -- and this time there are no demo or cover tracks to be found. Nehemah's black metal remains a mix of pretty fast and rather slow, more atmospheric passages, with a lot of mid-'90s Norwegian black metal feeling thrown into the music. Yes, Norwegian black metal from France -- it's a bit like Swedish death metal from Germany, but France has produced a considerable number of remarkable black metal bands already, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. The brilliant opening riff is a clear indication that you're in for something good; and when first track proper "The Great Old Ones" slows down into an atmospheric break before building up speed again, there shouldn't be any doubt left. The doomy slower sections, aided by the background synth (e.g., "The Elder Gods Awakening"), bring to mind the majesty of Emperor circa _In the Nightside Eclipse_; while the faster sections are usually good, some of the slower ones are just chilling. There seems to be an icy breath from the past about Nehemah's black metal, as if some ancient tomb half-buried in the snow is being opened before your eyes. (Whether this fictitious site is located in France or Norway really is irrelevant.) _Requiem Tenebrae_ is not an innovative album, but it is well produced, very well written and drenched in atmosphere, and has definitely been earning a lot of time on my CD player.


(article published 19/10/2004)

7/3/2002 D Rocher 8 Nehemah - Light of a Dead Star
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