What do you require in a killer black metal album? To me, it has to start with a heavy oppressiveness that conjures dark images while sonically assaulting the senses. Layer on technicality and tight delivery that allows each note and emotion to stand on its own, yet blow like a ominous wind through the speakers. Top it off with screams that make you want to crawl under the covers and guitar riffage that primes your fight instead flight reflex. Is that too much to ask?In the case of The Black Flame, by Nevalra, the answer is a definitive no.
Orchestrated by the high priest, Scott Eames, The Black Flame lives up to the hype and then some. Eerie spirits escape and linger before the insane drumming alerts of impending disaster in the opener, Terror Throne. Immediately we are barraged with the Nevalra method of operation, which includes complex musical scaffolding and elements that range from death blast to orchestral arrangement, all within a single track. Nothing is overlooked, and amazingly nothing is overdone, although the amount of stimuli is ridiculous.
The guitar work on Vimana reminds me of an abbreviated black metal parallel to what Megadeth pulled off back in the days of Rust In Peace, almost an instrumental inside a song, brilliantly executed. One can envision this explosion but need not as Nevalra is continually at work live, including co-headlining The Blackened Metalfest later this year in Milwaukee.
If there be a such an animal as a heavy metal hit, it would look and sound like Descend and Die. A march of sorts, its a fierce piece of wizardry, Eames vocals afire, ranging from brief guttural interludes to his mainstay piercing screams. Addictive riffage in a power frame, this is Nevalra at its finest, stretching out sharp claws bent on malice.
There is nothing meek or meager about The Black Flame, and part of the appeal is the polarizing exclamation point that it is. Fringe metal fans won’t have the sack for it, but those with the stones and a keen ear will delight in this masterpiece. Like the recesses found in VRIL, gorgeous tones followed swiftly with hammer strength riffs, it’s music with a purpose, rare in these days.
Shepherd Says- 9/10 Now I know what all the Nevalra fuss has been about, as it appears their ascension to the black metal throne is imminent. Be sure to count yourself in for a ride that promises hellaciously wicked surges and shakes.
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