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Nostalgiah - 84%

Noctir, October 8th, 2012

Released in May 2007, the second offering from France's Gestapo 666, Nostalgiah, covers much the same ground as before. This is raw black metal that owes a lot to the mid-'90s LLN bands, and one can say that this band serves almost as a tribute to glorify and preserve what those musicians accomplished, so long ago.

Musically, this record is similar to the Black Gestapo Metal in that it utilizes a lot of the same type of maddening tremolo melodies and soul-tearing palm-muted riffs that combine to send the listener directly into Hell. This time around, there is a little more variation, both between the different tracks and within them as well. Nostalgiah is very riff-oriented, with a fair amount of memorable riffs to be found. There are times when the band members' other bands can be heard filtering in, somewhat; “Scriptures of Our Black Melancholy” sounds very reminiscent of Satanic Warmaster, while traces of Celestia and Mortifera can be heard from time to time. The vocals, for the most part, try to keep in the old LLN spirit and add to the miserable feeling that is conveyed by the music. One might refer to this as National Socialist black metal, as some of the lyrical themes refer to a “corrupted jewish world”, as well as eliminating “judeo-life values” and the wonderful topic of reopening death camps and inviting various sub-races. However, to do so would be rather foolish. One primary characteristic that has long existed in black metal is that of hatred toward mankind. Those that would miss out on a decent album like this, due to such a moronic reason, should hop down from the high horse and get a life.

The production of Nostalgiah seems to be a little bit clearer and more dynamic than on the previous record. That is not to say that it possesses a slick, modern feel, for it does not. This is still pretty raw and not at all easy to digest for those unaccustomed to the sounds of underground black metal. The production succeeds in putting the guitar at the forefront, even moreso than on Black Gestapo Metal. The drumming can still be heard, but it never distracts. The vocals are a little louder than on the last record, but this suits the music quite well, and they never get to the obnoxious level of some of the old LLN recordings. Even if they had, it would have fit in with the theme and not really been a problem anyway.

Nostalgiah is somewhat of a diverse album, with some riffs that seem catchy and remain in your skull for days, while others are so bleak and dismal that you find yourself carving into your flesh without realizing it. Much like its predecessor, it does well to maintain the old Black Legions sound, without really adding anything to it. In this case, that is a good thing. If you want to hear a slightly clearer and updated version of what Mütiilation, Vlad Tepes and Belketre were doing a decade or so earlier, pick this up. Highlights include "Dethroned Tyrant Will Return", "Shadow Hate Division" and "Bestial Rites of Sacrifice".

Written for http://ritesoftheblackmoon.tripod.com