posted on 6/2010 By:
Out of the shadowy forests of Norway comes Nàttsòl, a band that has secretly been in the works since the cold, dreary winter of 2006. Stemning, the band's freshman effort, pays homage to many of Nàttsòl's Scandinavian predecessors, with Ulver being at the forefront of the pack. Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions has been bulking up their catalog with great acts lately, and Nàttsòl is no exception. Although initial spins may give off the impression that Stemning is an unoriginal Bergtatt tribute, repeated listens bring out many more of the band's influences. Nàttsòl, like many traditional black metal bands, attempts to capture the essence of nature's subtleties in its music. Although innovation and technology have enabled even the average band to easily mimic Earth's wonderful dirges, Nàttsòl does it with a touch of class, using only traditional black metal instrumentation.
The first striking characteristic of Stemning is its beautiful acoustic interludes. Knowing that a vicious storm lurks behind the soft notes of calmness and solitude is enough for one to excitedly anticipate the album's black metal explosions. Once Stemning reaches its halfway point, its sound unexpectedly broadens. The tremolo in "Ved Skog I Natterrstid," for example, is much slower, darker, and Burzum-esque. "Ved Fjell I Vinterblaest," which is the strongest and most original song on the album, contains very healthily produced riffing and insanely powerful blast beats. The clean vocals, both male and female, are also uniquely interwoven and help give Stemning a bit of its own flair. Nàttsòl's efforts are greatly displayed by Stemning's atmospheric intricacies, which can only be uncovered after multiple listens. The album's brilliant production is prevalent on every track and is a perfect example of how the old atmospheres of black metal can be highlighted without sounding overproduced.
Although Stemning only has a few standout moments, it's definitely worth a listen if you're a fan of the genre. Unfortunately, Nàttsòl has produced one of those albums that is good enough to listen to frequently, yet immediately puts other bands' songs into one's head. However, it is very clear that Erlend Antonsen, the heart and soul of Nàttsòl, has put one hell of an effort into the creation of Stemning. Even the casual metal listener would agree; this album was given the care and attention that most newborns unfortunately are not receiving these days. Although Stemning lacks the aura necessary to keep it from being buried under the Bergtatt's, the Welkin's and the Loss', its shelf-life definitely allows for increasingly enjoyable revisits.
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