Nadra - Allir Vegir Til Glötunar 01I’m inclined to jump at the opportunity to review any music that surfaces out of the Icelandic metal scene. Their strong talent, adventurous spirit, desire to cross or mix genres and their overall quirkiness usually makes for an exciting listen. That was my expectation with Naðra. Signal Rex added fuel to the fire with their hype indicating that Naðra pools the collective talents of “prolific underground bands” like Misþyrming and Carpe Noctem. All this setup and all I ended up with was a present-day band, recreating old school black metal at times reminiscent of Mayhem that veers determinedly into Khold and Gehenna‘s respective territories. Just like the pot of chili I knocked together this weekend, the process was flawless, the ingredients all there, and yet there’s a blandness that I just can’t budge.

Things get off to an abrupt and destructive start with opener “Fjallið.” It’s a fast-paced number loaded with piss and vinegar, haunted by a subtle Burzum-like melody. The track includes all the usual old-school black metal tricks and trademarks, but makes use of more modern and polished production techniques, allowing Naðra to deliver something that’ll easily bring to mind Khold and Gehenna. Vocally, Ö. lets it all hang out – raspy, high-pitched shrieks, regurgitations, screams and vocal theatrics are all shoehorned into the song in one way or another. The most cutting part being the sharp little guitar solo buried around the 3-minute mark that leaves you with something cool to hang onto, be it only for a short while. My biggest gripe with the track, is that even at only a little over 4-minutes, it still ends up overstaying its welcome.

Much of what follows is a repeat or variation on what you just heard in “Fjallið.” The oddities that would make this an interesting listen are concentrated in only a couple of tracks, few and far between. Things pick up some quirk around the 2-minute mark of “Falið” and then again towards the back-end of “Sár.” Here Naðra introduces a doomy layer that jabs at the memory banks, sometimes bringing to mind the heaviness of 11th Hour‘s Burden of Grief and at other times the old-timey core of Saint Vitus. “Sár” holds a little more weirdness, opening up in true-blue American black metal style, with a wandering cello that turns the tables and provides an unexpectedly restful atmosphere. It’s a welcome contrast to the aggressive nature of the rest of the album. The track draws to a reluctant close, wrapping up with what seems like a nostalgic film clip including a chattering bird and a mysterious voice-over. All these moments are great, but they’re not enough to make Allir Vegir Til Glötunar a real thing ov beauty.

Nadra - Allir Vegir Til Glötunar 02

Much of this album comes across as stereotypical and despite listen upon listen, the tracks fail to properly commit to memory. Having said that, I have two bigger complaints. Firstly, the jarring nature of the drum contributions courtesy of H.R.H.. I’m guessing this was Naðra‘s homage to Mayhem‘s “Silvester Anfang.” Unfortunately it just doesn’t work in this setting, or at this set of hands, and so the drumwork ends up becoming more and more grating with ongoing listens. Finally, it comes down to song length being my biggest gripe. Old school black metal, even shrouded in a nice modern production style, is NOT a genre in which you want things stretched out. I would be inclined to think that this should have been at the very forefront of the band’s mind when they made the decision to release Allir Vegir Til Glötunar using a time-restrained format such as cassette tape [Use of said medium clearly indicates irrational minds.Steel Druhm].

The guitar tone and solo work ends up being the only real selling point of this album. Moments like the acoustic sounding interlude that breaks in around the midsection of “Fallið” along with the piercing solos nestled within this and previous tracks hint at Naðra‘s potential. Allir Vegir Til Glötunar is just another non-essential black metal album and unfortunately, when all is said and done, there’s not enough here to entice me back.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Signal Rex
Websites: nadra.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/nadraisl
Releases Worldwide: January 22nd, 2016

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  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Brilliant review. The title was enough for me to correctly guess the review writer. I’d be curious to know if you ever considered changing your handle to Mådäm X

    • It’s so pretty and kvlt looking I may just do that!

      • madhare

        Just be sure you check that the umlauts won’t change it into something silly accidentally. Like most people don’t realise that å is basically just “o” sound instead of “a”. For example the logo of the TV series STARGÅTE (i.e. “Stargote”) is hilarious. For Norwegians it promises to show “Star Riddles”, for the Finns it might imply to be a brooding series about “Star Goths”. :D

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I have a good Chili recipe that has cocoa and cloves among other things, so it comes out tasting like a kind of móle sauce. Maybe I should post it here someday.

    • Recipes on AMG? DO IT.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Recipes on Angry Metal Guy? that´s what AMG’s sister site Angry Metal Cook is for!

        • sir_c

          You should check Vegan Black Metal Chef on youtube. Even though I like meat, it still is an entertaining watch, e.g. Chipotle Crimson Hell.

          • His first couple of videos were a riot and his knife usage… that was something else.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Wouldn’t it be cool if a Mexican Black Metal band released an album titled Chipotle Crimson Hell?

    • Oberon

      Do you add cinnamon and cumin as well?

      • Monsterth Goatom

        No, though generally I like cumin in chili. I’d post the recipe, but it’s in a cookbook, so it’s not just a copy and paste routine. Effort! We’ll see.

        • Keen to check it out!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Encouragement enough!

            Anthony’s Awesome Chili Con Carne

            2 lbs lean ground beef 1 kg
            2 large cloves garlic, minced 2 *
            2 stalks celery, finely chopped 2
            2 large onions, finely chopped 2
            2 tbsp chili powder 25 mL
            1/2 tsp dried oregano 2 mL
            1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 1 mL
            1 can (28 oz/796mL) tomatoes, diced, with juice 1 can (19 oz, (540 mL)) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
            2 tbsp cocoa powder 25 mL
            1 tbsp brown sugar 15 mL
            3 or 4 whole cloves 3 or 4 **
            1 tsp white vinegar 5 mL
            1/2 tsp black pepper 2 mL
            1 medium green or red pepper, finely chopped
            Salt and black pepper to taste ***

            1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, combine ground beef, garlic, celery and onions. Cook until vegetables are tender and meat is
            no longer pink. Add chili powder, oregano and cayenne; cook 1 minute longer. With a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to a slow cooker.

            2. Add tomatoes (with juice), kidney beans, cocoa, sugar, cloves, vinegar and pepper; stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until hot and bubbling. Add green pepper and stir to combine. Cover and cook 20 to 25 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

            Tip: For those who like their chili a little spicier, add more cayenne pepper.

            Night Before:
            This chili can be assembled 12 hours in advance of cooking (but without adding the green pepper). Follow preparation directions and refrigerate overnight in slow cooker stoneware. The next day, place stoneware in slow cooker and continue cooking as directed.

            Monsterth Goatom notes:
            * I usually add about 4 cloves (depends on how much you like your garlic)
            ** I find 3-4 cloves a bit much. I add 2 usually. Again, depends on your preference. It’s always fun to see who ends up being the one that bites into a whole clove. Don’t use ground cloves.
            *** I just throw in 1tsp of salt.

            Source: Pye, Donna-Marie. Canada’s Best Slow Cooker Recipes. Toronto, Ontario: Robert Rose Inc, 2000.

          • This is great, I’ll give it a try! Thanks for sharing :)

          • We will definitely try it out. Angry Metal Chili!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            My pleasure. Enjoy. And thanks for all the music!

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            I never thought i’d see the day where I learned how to make a sick chilli via a metal review website. One for the history books, this is

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Cross Stitch patterns coming soon!

          • sir_c

            First I like my coffee like my metal. But now I can add chili to the list as well. Thanks a lot, the recipe alone makes me salivate.

    • You wot m8?

      Angry Recipe Guy. That’s your name now.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I’ll take it.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Kudos for reviewing an Icelandic band without name dropping either Björk nor Sigur Rós.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      What would be truly impressive is writing a review on an Icelandic band without using a single umlaut

      • sir_c

        Sólstafir would work

  • Monsterth Goatom

    “Use of said medium clearly indicates irrational minds.”

    Tell me about it. For example, as far as I can tell, Infernal Sea’s The Great Mortality is only available on cassette (can’t even find a digital download). I got rid of my cassette player when I got rid of my VCR.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Can’t think of a single logical reason why anyone would want to make a cassette only release.

      • Because tapes are more kvlt than than these new-fangled formats like CD or *gasp* digital downloads.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          I understand the “kvlt” factor. That´s why I said there are no logical reasons for making a cassette only release. Every time I see a cassette only release can’t help but think: “Aimed for kvlt, landed on stvpid”.

          • Fair point, and that a great new tagline right there: “Aimed for kvlt, landed on stvpid”. :)

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I have always been of the opinion that if a band doesn’t want people to hear their music they should just not release it.

          • I am starting to feel that “kvlt” has reached the Macarena / Smells Like Teen Spirit / The Unforgiven phase. If one more sweaty dude namedrops Myrkur and how she isn’t kvlt enough I might snap. Ok all done now, whew – I feel much better.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Good thing you´re feeling better now. I’m not sweaty but Myrkur isn’t kvlt.
            ;)
            Hey Macarena!

  • Oberon

    If you can make chili with “that bland taste” you obviously aren’t cooking with enough beer and quality cut meat

    • I used an ale which I suspect may have been part of the problem. I wasn’t sure how hoppy to go. I think next time I’ll go IPA or double IPA at a minimum.

      • Oberon

        From my own experience, using any beer that is extra hoppy or bitter tends to make things worse. Using Guinness or a Shocktop tends to provide a richer flavor without adding any bitterness

        • Martijn Brugman

          Angry Metal Gluttons?

      • Wilhelm

        Use a stout/porter, or red wine…anything else and it just gets drowned out by the other flavors…you’ll probably have overall better luck with straight beef broth.

        • I noticed red wine came up in a few recipes I looked at too. I’ll give your suggestions a try.

      • sir_c

        I’d use a belgian triple or some nice dark trappist. Can hardly go wrong with almost anything

  • Noctus

    I actually really enjoyed the track streaming, but what do I know? ;)

    • Wilhelm

      Yeah me too, above average black metal imo.

  • Paul Revell

    Same for me. Did nothing for me, not awful… but not great either. Gave up on track 3!

    • Kek

      Tracks 4 and 5 are the best, for sure.

  • Everything I like gets a shit rating here. Keep it up.