This is dark and evil Black Metal with an icy sound and Devilish intentions. Their sound is distinctly raw and underground, but it’s a strong one nonetheless. For me the weakest link of a lot of bands who play this style of Black Metal is the drum sound as it usually comes across as really feeble. Pleasingly Neglektum have avoided this and the drums have a clear, forceful presence.
The vocals are mainly high and raspy, with the singer howling out litanies to dark powers and praises to evil in the way that Black Metal bands frequently do. It’s done well and no-one can doubt the obvious enthusiasm and passion that is emitted. He also tries his hand at some cleaner vocals occasionally and these aren’t half bad either.
The songs are quality songs that vary in speed and tempo depending on the mood. When playing faster they have an aggressive presence that is propelled by the drums and harsh screaming. The slower sections have lurking feelings of doom and dismay that seem to be bubbling just beneath the frozen layers of guitars attempting to break through.
The guitars are adept at radiating cold; they are suitably varied and hold attention throughout. The bass is even audible and makes a worthwhile contribution to the cause. Sinister melodies and infernal harmonies infect the guitar playing and really do a lot to add depth to the compositions.
Neglektum have successfully taken the standard Black Metal template and used it to create a monster of an album. Anyone who thinks that Black Metal has grown stale and needs frills, experimentation or dilution with other genres to be relevant or sound good needs to hear Neglektum.
Are you a Black Metal fan? Then get Blasphemer.