nether – Between Shades and Shadows

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: https://artgatesrecords.com
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://artgatesrecords.com/store/en/inicio/nether-between-shades-and-shadows-cd-preorder
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/netherofficial

Band line-up:

J – Vocals/Bass
P – Guitars
K – Guitars
B – Drums

Tracklisting:

1.The Hand Of The Unspoken
2.Mouths Sealed Clenched Fists
3.Abandon
4.To The Shores
5.Humanitys Crescendo
6.The Blood Is Gone
7.The Oathbreakers
8.So All Adore Me

 

Review:

nether is a melodic Belgian black metal band who formed in 2019. All the members have had roots in the local scene for several decades. Their debut album ‘Between Shades and Shadows’ will be released on 30th October through Art Gates Records. It was recorded by P and was later mixed and mastered by the well known Andy Classen (Stage One Studio). Their logo was designed by Christhophe Szpajdel, who is a big name in the underground world. The tree in the emblem is a strong symbol that shows everyone of us has deep roots in the earth.

The drums are really polished in this album, so if you like that kind of stuff, lucky you! Later Fear Factory and their super-mechanical sounds spring to mind. If it wasn’t for the ever so, ever so slightly sloppy playing that is heard every now and then (which is fine!!), you would certainly be forgiven for assuming the drummer here was really a computer. Who knows, maybe the drummer is 100% natural, he’s just a freak? The singer certainly hasn’t been aided by technology, but that’s not surprising as he relies on not exactly virtuoso shouts that have been done countless times before.

This is all very modern sounding, so if you like old school death/black metal that is raw and ‘true’, you may want to look elsewhere. The guitars don’t seem to have the same importance as the percussion, and bringing up FF again, nether’s hooks are far from the same level as them. They’re definitely nowhere near as flashy as the drums. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a flaw when something’s not as inventive as something else, especially when that should be very important. There ARE plenty of riffs here, but they don’t really stick in the mind. They’re mostly everyday, cliched chugging, tremolo picked or evil chord ideas that go on and on.

In conclusion, if you want a pure adrenaline experience, you may well love nether. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if each song was written (certainly not produced though) in a few hours. The drumming is very impressive with all sorts of wild blast beats and fills, even though it sounds fake, but it doesn’t save the music. This stuff is dying for something else to make it truly stand out. Of course this is extreme metal, but if the singer sung actual melodies or there were some melodic lead guitar lines, that would give the music that extra bit of character is really needs. This is far from a bad album, but it is average and lacking in individuality. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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