The Ferocious Tides Of Fate

Written by: MN on 01/03/2014 16:08:50

Netherbird is a black metal quintet hailing from Stockholm. The Swedish nation being one of the strongest bastions for melodic extreme metal, it comes to no surprise that Netherbird is a band that previously released some records that garnered international acclaim. Netherbird found the balance of being grounded in black metal but with an affinity for more grandiose verses and a sense for melody rarely found in conservative black metal bands. Their sophomore LP ”Monument Black Colossal” was a brilliant piece of work. What is clearly enjoyable of Netherbird is the commendable vocal line which varies from icy black metal shrieks to thunderous death growls. Their debut record ”The Ghost Collector” was the first record for me to check out, and it really set the bar high. It is a mammoth debut where songs like ”The Blackest Breed” contains a contagiously melodic drive to it. Furthermore, the 14 minute long ”Boulevard Black” displays the best of Netherbird with plenty of theatricalities and multi-layered composition.

Their third release ”The Ferocious Tides Of Fate” continues in the same path but has retired a great deal of the epic theatricality that characterized their earlier releases. They have now opted for a more thrash-driven expression. None of the songs on this record are bad and I guess its up to personal preference of whether you like the new thrashy Netherbird. Not unlike Children Of Bodom's ”Are You Dead Yet?”, Netherbird are also packing it more tightly with shorter and more rhythm-based songs rather than the epic songs of their past records.

”Elegance And Sin” opens the record with some dual guitars with distortion cranked to the max, and eventually the brooding intro morphs into a full-throttle, blastbeat-induced verse line. The chorus of the opening track is exactly what Netherbird should be all about. The ”Wall Of Sound” effect in the verse is retired for a very ear-clinging chorus and to make this song even more of a pleasure, guitarist Bizmark lashes out with a sharp and focused solo. ”Shadow Walkers” is another complete track where mid-tempo allows for the singer Nephente's lyrics to really cut through. There is also a lengthy atmospheric outro and a violin section adding a hint of folk to the soundscape. ”Along The Collonades” is the longest song on the record, and after a lenghty but slightly tedious intro, the song finally sets off in a menacing manner. Closing the record is ”Of The Setting Sun” that befittingly brings everything together in a final heavy hitter but generally the track doesn't do much more.

Some of the best black metal these days is the stuff that can manage to combine the cacophonous and supersonic lo-fi sounds of the old school with a variety of other influences. Bands like Rotting Christ and Stormlord are prime examples of this. Netherbird are slowly creeping up the list to a position as one of the more respected bands in what I would call alternative black metal. The lack of the atmospheric inputs of their earlier records does however mean that "The Ferocious Tides Of Fate" does not stay with me for very long. Being a somewhat short release with only two really captivating tracks, it does fall a bit short for a Netherbird release.

Download: Elegance And Sin, Shadow Walkers
For The Fans Of: Naglfar, Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir

Release Date 29.11.2013
Scarecrow Recordings

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