Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: Nýr Gata - Seraphim

"Guys, we need a band logo."
"I just took a massive, bloody Taco Bell shit all over my pet lobster."
"Say no more."

Look, I know it's part of the unwritten code of trv metal that we're not supposed to talk about this, but can we all drop the facade here for one quick second and just admit that none of us actually enjoy metal? Jesus Christ, I cannot remember the last time I actually heard a metal song that brought me anything even approximating joy. No one cruises down a sun-kissed winding coastal road with the top down in a show of vigorous youthful enthusiasm with Bathory blasting from their sound system. No one's putting Sylosis in a fucking tampon commercial.

 Metal is not fun. It is hard work. Anybody who claims to enjoy listening to metal is either a Trivium fan or mentally handicapped. Listening to metal is a constant battle to find and consume music that nobody you know has ever heard of so you can start hating it by the time anyone else has the sheer audacity to think about getting excited over new heavy metal music.

To put it another way, if your friends have heard of and/or listened to a band or album, you can never listen to and enjoy that band's music. Enjoying music that someone else has heard is the textbook least metal thing a person can ever do, because as everyone knows, quality of music is inversely proportional to their fan base. This is why the 14 year old kid next door practicing Metallica riffs alone in his garage with his headphones on is scientifically speaking the greatest metal band in the world.

It's in the spirit of this indisputable law of the metal world that, once or twice a week, I jump on Bandcamp and randomly listen to and follow bands in the Heavy Metal tag so that I can get the ball rolling on their inevitable and violent downfall.

No, it's fine, you don't have to thank me.

Enter Nýr Gata. I despise how every reviewer on the planet feels the need to David Copperfield the shit out of each and every underground band they write reviews for, so if you want to know who the lads from NG are and what they had for breakfast this morning, you can fucking Google it, chump.

All you need to know about this band is that they're a black/death band from Germany and that I clicked on their latest (and first) release, Seraphim, in full anticipation of it being an under-produced cookie cutter blowhard mess. Just look at their album cover. The originality of it is so scrotum-ulceratingly intense that when I first laid my eyes upon it that I had a minor stroke and may never be able to get a boner again. 'Oh goodie,' I thought to myself, 'an album I get to hate, not just to be a contrarian prick, but because it's actually going to be shit. Might even write a review of it for TNM and let out some of that vitreol I build up in my 9-5'.

You simply cannot imagine my surprise and bitter, pained disappointment when Seraphim turned out to be a really fucking sweet album from which I have not been able to pry myself. Upon making this discovery I was faced with the dilemma mentioned above, and it truly is a testament to the surprising adoration I have for this record that I have decided to talk about it even though that means I am now required to deny that I ever listened to it.

The production is pretty tight by the (admittedly disgracefully low) standard of Bandcamp bedroom metal bands, the lads manage to balance the black-death thing quite well considering most bands in the same vein tend to sway unevenly one way or the other and the entire experience is nothing short of utterly satisfying, and the whole thing was made by two dudes.

It's not perfect, the first song kinda blows, and they're clearly not here to break new ground, but what we have here is an album that surpasses many of the contributions of groups in the genre who have become metal mainstays (and if Acheron doesn't completely blow your balls off, you and I have nothing further to discuss). It's impossible to understand one single fucking word of the album unless you're a native German speaker, but for most blackened death metal bands, lyrical impenetrability is pretty much par for the course.

We have something of a policy here at TNM about not turning reviews into biblical length circle jerks, so you can make up your own mind about Seraphim, but all I'll say is that if you don't like it, you can fellate my exhaust pipe. The whole thing is streaming for literally zero fucking dollars on their BandCamp page.


Update: the guys at NG's label read my review and aside from being all round super sweet dudes they are sending me some free shit, so I guess that's it. Show's over. TNM has sold out.

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