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Nachzehrer - 30%

Noctir, December 22nd, 2011

Nachzehrer is the fourth full-length album from Satanic Warmaster, and the first L.P. to emerge from Lauri Penttilä's chubby, short carcass in five long years. While he did contribute to various E.P. and split releases, it seemed odd that he would have neglected to give his legions of acne-ridden fans another full dose of watered-down black metal. Released in August 2010, this record picks up from where Carelian Satanist Madness left off, and shows absolutely no sign of development or improvement. In fact, the overall sound quality and the songwriting have both deteriorated even further.

The music consists of fairly average black metal, with strong influences from the early-'90s Norwegian bands. At least Lauri is, more or less, consistent with the sort of music he puts out under the Satanic Warmaster name. There are a handful of decent riffs, such as those found in "Satan's Werewolf" and "Warmaster Returns", though the former sees him utilizing synth when a guitar would have done the job. However, there are times when the musical style shifts to death metal, such as the track "Vampires". This is a long-standing problem with this out-of-shape little goblin, as he made similar mistakes back on the old Pest releases, including death metal riffs when they did not belong. The little fellow also likes to repeat himself, as "One Shining Star" is very reminiscent of some of the material from Opferblut. It includes some of the better riffs on the album, but one gets the impression of having heard them before. The rest of the material is rather uneventful, while the intro and outro are utterly worthless in every conceivable way.

The production on this album is horrible. In his quest to sound more and more underground, Lauri has created a sound so muddy and thick that even the very best guitar melodies are buried and difficult to enjoy. There is a strange mentality among some that think black metal must have demo-quality production in order to be 'true', which is humourous considering what a poser this hobbit is. While lo-fi production is good in many cases, there comes a point where a band sacrifices the potential of their material for nothing more than trying to adhere to some unwritten code. Maintaining a pure and genuine sound is one thing, but purposefully making the album sound like hell seems kind of fake. Opferblut did not sound over-produced at all, yet was good enough to showcase the guitar riffs. Listening to Nachzehrer is a tedious endeavour, at times.

In the end, there is nothing on this album that has not been heard a dozen times before. Satanic Warmaster is a project that is more about the image and posturing than in achieving a higher level of quality, regarding the actual music. If you are a fan, then Nachzehrer should not disappoint, so long as you did not raise your expectations since the last record. However, you would probably be better off to skip this band, entirely, and listen to Horna and Sargeist instead.

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