Elderwind / Sorrow Plagues / De la Nostalgie / Dreams of Nature - Mater Natura Excelsa

Postato in Il Pozzo dei Dannati

Scritto da: Alain González Artola

Questo utente ha pubblicato 22 articoli.

Mater Natura Excelsa(Avantgarde Music/Flowing Downward, 2018)

Score: 90

#FOR FANS OF: Atmospheric Black Metal




It’s pretty usual in the black metal scene to release a split album among different bands in order to release new songs and gain some attention, while they can share the cost of cd producing. I must admit that I am not such a fan of those releases, but sometimes the quality of the involved bands makes the listen a must. 'Mater Natura Excelsa' is in fact one of those cases as the bands involved, no less than four, are top-notch in the atmospheric black metal scene. Elderwind is a Russian band which plays a beautiful atmospheric black metal, its debut album 'The Magic of Nature', is a gem which became a classic release for the fans of the genre. Slightly similar to this band but with a notorious influence from the Swedish band Lustre is the project Dreams of Nature, which has carved a cult status thanks to some great releases. The other two bands are more post-black metal oriented but still they share many musical characteristics with the former two. Sorrow Plagues comes from the UK and has released two excellent albums, while De la Nostalgie (from Venezuela!) released in 2017 an impressive debut, which it is perhaps more focused on ambient black metal.

Taking into account the aforementioned characteristics of the involved bands, it was clear that this split should be a fine collection of long compositions with an intense atmospheric touch, and believe me, it is. Every band delivers what we could expect from them. Stylistically they don´t go too far from what they have offered in their own full lengths. Each band has composed two songs and the album has a length of almost 80 minutes, so don´t expect short tracks, lasting the shortest of them no less than 6 minutes. Sorrow Plagues starts the split with two excellent tracks: “Vista” is a song which sums up all the characteristics which define the trademark sound of the British project. Fast paced tracks enriched by slowest sections where simply yet beautiful melodies, played by keys or acoustic-esque guitars, have a major role. One of the most relevant aspects of this band is how good the guitar solos are, they truly shine, especially in a genre where are not so common. De la Nostalgie also loves to create long compositions and the two tracks on this split are not an exception, clocking both of them around 11-12 minutes. Being the tracks that long there is room to compose quite rich songs with great atmospheric introductions and De la Nostalgie truly knows how to build a song which catches our attention. “Insomnia” for example, is a slower track if we compare it to what Sorrow Plagues has offered to us. It’s a long mid-paced song with catchy keys, which make the song sound intense yet emotional. As it happens in this genre, one of the things I really enjoy are those breaks, when the band focus on purely ambient sections, where the talent of this guys truly shines. The return of the guitars and of screams, which break the peaceful section, is also great, as it makes this heavier section sound, and for some reason, even better. In a similar way to its magnificent debut, the Russian Elderwind delivers two great tracks, “Temple” and “Fires of Autumn”. Little folk touches are mixed with absorbing keys in a mainly mid-paced song. Guitars sound a little bit “doomish” to me, which increases the melancholy of the track. The fast sections feature guitars which sound a little bit more post metal influenced, which fits perfectly well those speedier parts. As it happened in the debut both tracks sound beautiful with an ethereal touch. The honour to close this great split falls on Dreams of Nature. As I have already mentioned this band has a great Lustre influence, though it manages to forge its own distinctive sound. Dreams of Nature creates minimalistic and slower paced tracks which have an unique sense of beauty and melancholy. Anyway, a track like “Infinity”, for example, is far from being monorithmic, having occasional faster sections which make the song sound a little bit rawer. The closing track, “When the Leaves Fall”, is 100% Dreams of Nature, that is a hypnotic pace and minimalistic keys which sound simple awesome.

In conclusion, these great bands have released a long yet brilliant split album, which is undoubtedly a must for every atmospheric black metal fan. Expect no less than tons of ethereal and majestic keys, which will make the listener have a mystic travel through the forest.