Meaning Neraines’ Yggdrasil of course.
Neraines’ trademark of pure evilness and worship of majestic beauty within darkness is still intact on their second offer. I can’t imagine how painful was the wait for their second ruthless black metal discharge, after the ineffable quality of their self-titled debut album… a little over a year, but it could have felt like an eternity.
And yet, this album Yggdrasil is worth every day of waiting in vigil, it’s the soundtrack of hell and heaven, both at once. It condenses the sorrow and pain of a long lost soul and turns it into music just for humanity to hear and witness the real depths of horror, but also the majesty found deep within the abyss.
Truly dark and terrifying black metal.
Some little improvements I recognize from their first album is the riff-craft, it is still atmospheric, technical and strangely syncopated, but somehow they managed to throw more evilness in it, slowing the pace sometimes, which make things much more hypnotic and disturbing too, much like what you would find on The Birth of a Cursed Elysium. This is not applied to the drumming though, that is still fast and frantic. There are more odd timings but they are still just a further exploration in riffing from what they did on their debut. Slow passages bedizen their brutal and atmospheric brand of black metal and they may come in suddenly, as drastic tempo changes are present everywhere. The lyrical themes are the same well-thought, worthwhile odes to nature and Norse mythology, intellectually sharp and edgy as always… not the typical Gorgoroth or Dimmu Borgir non-sense.
The quality of the recording is remarkable as well. The guitars sound like a swarm of bees, distortion is very acid and over-driven. Not with lots of reverb, just saw shaped soundwaves for Óðinn. Their abrasive sound is very dynamic, high pitched notes and harmonics sound brighter and nostalgic, while the lower note riffs are merciless and rougher.
Listen to it yourself and make up your own mind.
This is truly some of the greatest atmospheric and melodic black metal ever recorded. There is not a single album that can hold a candle to Neraines’ Yggdrasil, save perhaps for Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.
But still… who can top this album in the modern black metal scene? No one.