The Nest – Her True Nature [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Way back in 2021, there was a global pandemic. Perhaps you remember? Well, that led to various festivals being moved online. One such event was Roadburn (Roadburn Redux for its virtual debut), which featured a one-off project called The Nest. Essentially, The Nest is Belgian experimental black-metal-adjacent drone extraordinaires Wolvennest jamming with a load of their pals. Said pals are: Tommie Ericksson (Saturnalia Temple), Raven Van Dorst (Dool), Alan Averill (Primordial, Dread Sovereign), Meilenwald (Ruins Of Beverast), Déhà and Bones (Dread Sovereign). The Nest’s live-streamed show (which you can watch in full here) could have been the first and the last we heard of this project but, happily, they later reunited, with Déhà behind the mixing desk, to record a studio version of Her True Nature. And here we are.

First things first. When I say this is essentially Wolvennest and pals, I mean just that. It’s fundamentally Wolvennest with some guest vocalists, so, if psychedelic blackened ambient drone doom isn’t your thing, the door is just over there1…that’s it, keep walking…careful, don’t slip on the n00b corpses (we’ve had janitorial issues recently).2 That said, the addition of the various other contributors who, with the exception of Bones and Ericksson, contribute only vocals, give The Nest much greater range and a more expansive sound that is both more progressive (“Her True Nature”) but also has more of a blackened tint to it (“Altar”). Sprawling over an hour and change, Her True Nature is a slow-motion journey through darkened shrines and gloomy caverns littered with glittering mineral seams and into which an occasional beam of sunlight stabs.

One of those glaringly bright moments is when the vocals from Dool’s van Dorst first enter into the chugging doom of “We are One”, with their stylised clean delivery lending the track a plaintive sense of urgency. I have never been the biggest Primordial fan, and that is at least in part due to Averill’s vocals. It has to be said though, that he brings his A-game to “The Way of all Flesh,” which is the album’s standout moment. Averill leans into more of a classic doom vibe on his vox, sometimes hitting almost ritualistic pacing, and at others times belting it out with only hints of distortion creeping into his tone. Alongside him, shimmering keyboards and proggy, psychedelic guitar lines do battle with thunderous drumming.

“Altars” brings Her True Nature’s heaviest moment, as The Nest rip into black metal territory. The blasts issue forth, marching alongside atmospheric tremolos and Meilenwald’s harsh vocals, which oscillate between a traditional BM rasp and a sort of growling, echoing chant that gives the whole thing a sepulchral tone. Not everything The Nest throws at Her True Nature works. Closer “Le Feu” is probably the weakest piece on the album. That’s not to say it’s poor per se but it is a bit…plodding and simply not of the same quality as the rest of the material. I think this is perhaps because it’s an ensemble number, trying to give every member of The Nest something to do, and that’s just too much. While this is a slightly disappointing note to see Her True Nature close on, it is nevertheless a really impressive and cohesive composition. Wolvennest’s character is woven into the fabric of the album, but The Nest incorporates all the styles of the different vocalists so skillfully, that it elevates that style into something even better.

Tracks to Check Out: “We are One,” “The Way of all Flesh” and “Altar”.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. I’m editing this and cannot leave. This isn’t fair. – Holdeneye
  2. Recently? On the way in here, I stepped through the decaying ribcage of one of my failed n00b classmates. That was over four years ago! – Holdeneye
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