Naer Mataron - _Discipline Manifesto_
(Black Lotus Records, 2005)
by: Andreas Marouchos (9 out of 10)
Naer Mataron have always been among the elite of Greek black metal. Since their inception, back in 1994, the band has always been in constant evolvement, straying far from their first _Up From the Ashes_ album, which drew heavily from the typical Hellenic sound, to their monumental _Skotos Aenaon_ and from there on to the more technical and innovative North-isms of their latest opus. _Discipline Manifesto_ is what you might call the fruition of all their hard work, where they manage to coalesce a number of musical influences -- although limited, I have to say -- into a devastating powerhouse of hate-reeking music.

The music as such can be described as having a firm grounding on the Burzum / Darkthrone diptych from which it branches into various other black metal 'schools', from Hellenic mid-tempo riffing to the faster and harsher Swedish approach of Marduk and Thy Primordial fame. The Greeks score highly on the guitar work factor; I have to say that the finishing riffs that Morpheas cranks up on some of the tracks are among the best I have heard coming from a black metal album. "The Day Is Breaking" is such an example, where the song initially paces on mid-tempo rhythms, then gathering up gradually on faster and faster passages before the momentum escalates on the final riff-driven segment, and what a riff that is! I still find myself humming that part over and over again. "Last Man Against Time" also cranks up its own good share of sweeping riffing which could have easily sprouted from Darkthrone's better days when injected with a good amount of black metal-ala-Sweden serum.

The album also boasts some highly acclaimed guest appearances, namely Apollyon of Aura Noir, Vicotnik (who also took part in the record's mastering process) and Carl Michael Eide, the two latter being part of Ved Buens Ende. All technical aspects aside, this album finds itself seethed in emotion, yes indeed emotion! Avoiding the stagnant 'tr00' stances of nowadays' majority of black metal bands, their music rampages relentlessly like an overwhelming barrage of ravenous rage, never stopping for rest. A burning furnace of an album which not only stands tall in the Greek scene but is also quite capable of blowing a breathful of amber hate-filled smog into the ever-needing lungs of European black metal.


(article published 7/11/2005)

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