I’ve always enjoyed Dodsferd’s brand of dismal Black Metal, but considered Wrath’s vocal experimentations to all too often be the weak link. Nadiwrath is his new band, with a couple of the guys who were/are Dodsferd’s “session musicians,” so I’ve been waiting to see what the stylistic differences would be between the two groups. I assume that Wrath writes all the music himself for Dodsferd, but that with Nadiwrath the writing is more of a collaborative effort. That’s just a guess, though, but however it works, the end result is an entirely different kind of Black Metal. Dodsferd’s gloomy atmosphere is completely absent in Nadiwrath, usually replaced with what I guess I’ll call Punk Rock speed and songwriting. And not in the terrible new Darkthrone way, either. I rarely get to say this about a Black Metal album (although it is becoming more common), but the recording quality and overall sound are amazing, and I can clearly hear Maelstrom’s impressive basslines. If not for the corpse paint in their pictures and Wrath’s vocals (and presumably the lyrics, although I don’t have them to check), I don’t know if anyone would immediately think to call Nihilistic Stench Black Metal, as musically this is often more straightforward Thrash/Punk. That, however, is not a complaint, and the DNA of Black Metal is all over the place in the forms of speed and ferocity, and makes itself known very clearly every now and then. As with Dodsferd, Wrath’s schizophrenic vocals hold this back, but he seems a little more in sync with the music here, with somewhat fewer terrible ideas escaping his tortured throat. Parts of this album prove that these Grecian blasphemers have perfection within them (“There Is No Light” for example, even with the sometimes-goofy vox), and really make me wish that Wrath would just stick with maybe two or three vocal styles that actually do work and forget about the embarrassing, headache-inducing shit he tries, thus making Nadiwrath invulnerable.
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