Natanas – Eram Numquam Amicum Vestrum (Review)

NatanasA one-man Black Metal act from the US; this is the latest release from Natanas, although at the prolific rate he releases material, it might not be by the time I’ve written this…

I’ve enjoyed watching Natanas progress in the relatively short time since its inception, (here, here, here and here), and it’s always a pleasure to listen to the latest horrorful dirge that the man unleashes on the world.

Eram Numquam Amicum Vestrum is a little different than previous releases. It still shares a lot of the same hallmarks, but this time it’s a bit angrier and more Black Metal. That might sound like an odd thing to say, considering all of his releases have been Black Metal, but I suppose I mean it’s a bit more traditionally Black Metal – although a lot of Black Metal fans would probably still blanch at this as his work remains on the raw, underground, under-produced side of things.

The music is Doom-laden, filth-ridden Black Metal that carries an artistry to it despite the primitive veneer that it wields like a sharp stick. The rhythm guitars somehow find a way to be mournful and rabid at the same time, while the leads add a lot of rich content to the songs and provide a pointed outlet for all of these emotions. The screamed vocals are some of his best to date; understated and low in the mix, but still totally despondently savage.

The tracks are less songs and more essays on how to channel anger and sorrow in musical form in an atavistic and cathartic way.

I think this is probably my favourite Natanas release, actually. Although I really enjoy the more experimentally dark nature of his other work, this album has more coherence and focus about it, resulting in an album that has a lot going for it. Traces of his previous work remain, of course, and these add extra flavour to the album, ensuring that it doesn’t become stale or one-dimensional.

If you’re the kind of person who gets off on raw, underground Black Metal then this is a must.

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