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Natur > Demo > Reviews > Thumbman
Natur - Demo

These Metal Knights Aren't Prepared For Battle - 60%

Thumbman, April 2nd, 2016

When a heavy metal release starts with a song called "Metal Knights" you can safely assume that you're not in for a particularly original experience. Natur's debut demo is certainly no exception to the rule. They largely channel classic NWOBHM through a relatively juvenile thrash attitude. Despite being very underwhelming on the whole, it does have one silver lining - the lead guitar is pretty bitching! Otherwise, the riffs are extremely forgettable, the songwriting is nothing to write home about, the vocals are pretty meh and the lyrics are either generic or downright stupid (they're not as fun as the band thinks they are).

Being generic is not necessarily why this isn't that good. While most of my favourite bands have done something pretty original, I like lots of bands that travel down a well-beaten path. Originality is not necessarily a mandatory ingredient (nor indicator) of quality, and bands that do a well established formula well certainly have their place. However, this is not really good enough to fit that criteria. This is adequate, but doesn't really push beyond that. They're mainly aping the enduring mainstays of the '80s and as a result sound very dated. It's not that I can't appreciate that sort of music, it's just that stuff like this is a very pale comparison to the real deal and it takes a lot of skill for a modern band to sound fresh in this territory.

The riffing here is generally pretty simple, and can often be traced back to Iron Maiden. The riffs are not overtly bad, but as run-of-the-mill as humanly possible and certainly nothing I'll remember after taking this off the turntable. The drumming here is competent, but the tone isn't great (I'll give them a pass since this is a demo) and it's not particularly creative. The songwriting is generally just alright, but I'd be lying if "Zorched" isn't fun mostly for that reason. The lead guitar, however, is totally awesome. Like everything else, it's not original in the least, but here it's actually really good and goes far beyond mere competency. The dude can really shred his ass off without coming off as your stereotypical soulless technician. The vocalist kind of sounds like your average '80s beers 'n pizza skeletal thrash kid attempting to sound like Bruce Dickinson without really knowing how. He's at his best when his vocal lines are at their most simple (another reason why "Zorched" is the only memorable song here). He definitely tries to sing above his competence level at times, and this is most evident on "Spider Baby" (the song's bad attempts at 'stupid but fun' lyrics are also pretty lame).

So yeah, judging by the fact that the first song is called "Metal Knights" and the cheesy mock-newspaper in the packaging, you know right away that this is going to be pretty silly. However, this would be fine if it were, well, better. If you're big on modern traditional heavy metal, I'd reckon you wouldn't mind this at all. On the other hand, I'm sure you'd be able to find far better sources of this type of thing. Either way, don't mean to be too harsh on this demo. It's fine and the lead guitar is pretty damn fun. However, it really takes a lot to play something like this without sounding terminally dated.