Long have I been a Noltem fan, and even after knowing that Erik did session vocals for the "Hymn of the Wood" demo, it took me the two years
I have been a fan of Noltem to check this out.
I'm glad I did.
This compilation of the two demos, Evighet and Undergang, is nothing short of amazing. After months of trying to find deep and meaningful black metal outside of the realm of bands I listen to, I found myself listening to Nasheim, and these guys really know how to bring empowerment back to black metal.
Seeing as the trend of "Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal" is really taking root now, people tend to overlook bands that empower the listener, as black metal was originally supposed to do, it is great to see bands that "bring the epic" like Nasheim that are still making music.
Onto the music, the fuzzy guitars add a lot of personality to the cd, like I am wandering in a deep and dark Northern Swedish forest with a ram's horn of mead and a fresh kill slung over my shoulder.
Even the bass is noticeable in this, with little doodles here and there, adding even more variability to Nasheim's style.
The drums are your standard black metal fare with alternating blasts and ambient cymbal work along with the standard slow beat with lots and lots of ride and crash cymbals. This does not add on anything really to the album, but it does not detract either.
The shining and standout quality of Nasheim have to be Erik's vocals, though very high in the mix, his vocals are powerful and mournful. I cannot say that Erik's vocals sound like any other I have heard yet; they are highly original black metal rasps (thought you'd never hear someone say that, did you?).
There is even an amazing cover of Bathory's anthem "Blood Fire Death" included in this compilation that takes my breath away. Quorthon would be very happy with this cover out of the many there are.
My one complaint with the demo is the quality of the song "Evighet." Though it is a great song and the dual vocal work is interesting, the all-treble sound quality of black metal is hard on my ears and is rough enough to have me take off a touch from a perfect score.
For fans of: Ulver, Wolves in the Throne Room, Angantyr, Agalloch, Noltem, Wind Through the Trees, Dornenreich, Herbst...