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Here they are, Naer Mataron with the last album ‘Discipline Manifesto’. I have not listened to any other album by Naer Mataron so I cannot do any comparison or make any reference. Let’s begin saying that I am a real black-metal addicted and I listen to lots of it, so some kind of attitude in a black metal album can be assumed for me while for another listener, who is less into black metal than me, the same may be a surprise. I first came to know of Naer Mataron because I am a huge fan of Nordvargr (MZ.412, Toroidh, Folkstorm, etc.), who plays the keyboards here. Keyboards which I can’t really say having a great role in this album; the most of the music here is a ferocious and tough bunch of long and fast black metal tracks, without any concession made to the melody.
We have many typical black metal riffs with a furious, although maybe sometime random drumming. The first track for example, “Extreme unction” consist in nine minutes of fast violent black metal, without any distinctive sign, exception made for some (not so good) passages in the drumming. The first real presence of Nordvargr’s electronic effects is the third track, which is in fact a brief introduction to the next song, made with some low ambient effects, some ‘evil’ talking, and nothing more. This (not so much) atmospheric ‘pause’ lasts only three minutes, then we have “Arrival of the Caesar”, maybe the most interesting track of the album, with a good riffing and somewhat ‘epic’ effect of echo in the singing. This is a good song, beginning with a slow-paced rhytm, with long pauses in the singing which enhance a sense of waiting and arrival of the commander. Then the song fastenes, and it all returns tough and violent, also a little monotonous perhaps. Monotony which is broken in some episodes like “The day is breaking” with its sad slow beginning, with a depressed riff which grows in sadness as the rhytm fastenes. This is another very enjoyable song with a sad beginning and a slight of epic touch in the finale.
The last three tracks on this album aren’t much different from the first six. We have others brief seconds of ‘dark ambient’ introductions, as in “The last loyal”, and a lot of ultra-speed black metal stuff. The first album that came in my mind when I first listened to this one was Setherial’s “Hell eternal” (which I liked much less anyway): very fast and furious non-melodic black metal, but without great moments or details of brilliance, only a great general monotony.
The difference here, which makes me like this one a little more, is that we have a band that can create some sense of epic (“Arrival of the Caesar”, the clean talking and singing on “Land of dreams”) or sadness (the beginning of “The day is breaking”), while technically Setherial are better – the bass here is unconsistent and the drumming is sometimes incoherent. Anyway this is not the kind of album I would keep listening on and on. It is very angered and violent, but this kind of black metal can easily become boring. I can actually save three or four better tracks and a few other moments (some epic riffs in the middle of “Last man against time”) from this album, but then I don’t think I will listen to them very often. There are bands who can do this better and there are bands who can add something more to this kind of attitude without ‘betraying’ it.