I love it when bands have historically themed lyrics, growing up I had a great thirst for ancient history, one that I had to sate myself because all the schools that I attended were not equipped to deal with the deep level of interest I had. Now that I am older, I still have a hunger for history, culture, and mythology that often goes unsated through normal learning methods. In the last ten to fifteen years I have been able to turn to metal, black metal more specifically, for the history I crave so much. Bands that are able to bring history to life through their music are special to me, everyone knows about Viking Metal and how it helped change the face of black metal today. The only problem with Viking Metal was that everyone wanted to play it, even those that were not necessarily part of Scandinavian culture. In and of itself, that is not a bad thing, however I have always wanted to see bands from non-Scandinavian countries to sing about their own rich culture, each culture is unique and has some amazing things to offer the world of black metal, the popular of Viking Metal has squelched a lot of that. Fortunately, the harder one looks, the more bands one can see that do sing about their culture and history. There are myriad Irish mythological bands, Anglo-Saxon, Roman, Greek, Slavic and Rus, anything we think of. Today I found out about an ancient culture I had never heard of previously, thanks to a black metal band.
Downfall of Nur take many of their lyrical themes from the ancient Sardinian Nuragic culture. While the lyrics are Italian, sadly not a language in my repertoire yet, but the music combines with the lyrics and the vocals to create a vivid picture. Before listening to this band I had never heard of this culture now my brain is working overtime trying to find out everything I can about them (I’ll let you do your own searching as far as that goes). A band that can do that, turn the wheels of curiosity, is a very good band in my book.
This is a standout band that is very similar to bands like Wolves in the Throne Room and Agalloch, two bands that are nestled tightly in my top 10 bands. It’s cavernous and atmospheric, the production is top notch, making the music itself sound ancient. It echoes and reverbs, filling the senses. There are instrumental, almost ambient interludes within the songs, effortlessly transitioning the listener to a new story
There are two kinds of black metal, one sounds as though it was recorded in a field, the sounds are open and reed thin, the sound is cold and harsh, the other sounds as though it was recorded deep in a cave, the sounds are richer, fuller. Both forms of metal are wonderful in their own right, each achieves a different feeling in the listener. Downfall of Nur is certainly the latter, adding to the cultural richness that the album is all about. I loved this album, the production, the lyrics, the musicality, the musicianship was all superb. I highly recommend Umbras e Forestas and Downfall of Nur.
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