Nar Mattaru - _Enuma Elish_
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
Underneath the staggering artwork adorning the album, which immediately sets the right mood, lies a beast of muddy, corpulent death metal worshiping Incantation's and Autopsy's creepy, crude sound, heavy on reverberation and governing bass lines, a guttural, one dimensional deep grunting vocalist and an intricate guitar work.

Lengthy tracks of crawling varying velocities and swirling all-out war against the ear embodied by the occasional blasting, roaring drums, these Chilean masters of disaster Nar Mattaru are horrific mood setters that draw inspiration from Mesopotamian myths mixed with Necronomicon legends, adequately portraying the imminent doom awaiting mankind, if and when the great slumbering gods will rise from their cosy bottomless pits.

Numbing the senses with heaviness that's everything but habitual, the chaotic, suffocating atmosphere and darkness created by this sombre amalgamation, are well represented by a set of sludgy riffs that annex the music with their -- dare I say -- quasi-stoner and oriental admixture; they are all over the place, adding a surreal, abstract, almost ethereal vibe, resulting in a callous ambiance -- but not one that's cold and freezing; rather the contrary, steamingly hot, hellish, sulphur-fumed and deadly.

The album's best tracks are the original ones, where the band's guitar craftsmanship is portrayed along with their ability to write songs that are intricate and heavy on undercurrents of middle eastern influences; these abyssal pieces of music are also the most interesting tracks due to the band's ability to incorporate elusive melodies into their black mass as well as experiment with various speeds, from crawling doom to blasting death.

The Incantation and Autopsy covers are redundant in the face of the band's own, original quality material that's often more varied and interesting, even sophisticated, generally speaking, when compared to the crass primitivism of both Autopsy and Incantation. If you are like me, and have never been too impressed by the offerings of Incantation (chaotic heaviness that hides the band's inability to write decent songs), but still like muddy, stern and mysterious death metal and dig raw melody and atrocious atmosphere, Nar Mattaru's _Enuma Elish_ will surely quench your thirst, and then some.


(article published 2/3/2013)

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