NadraAfter a bit of research, I came across the description of this Icelandic band’s music as “raw black metal art”. Fiery, furious and extreme would be words I would add to capture this debut work.

Naðra tear their way through the opening two tracks. The vocalist, who may or may not be delivering his utterances in Icelandic, sounds like he wants to vomit. There isn’t time for that as the manic drumming and thrashing black metal suggest the task in hand is to lay all asunder. The fourteen minute “Falið” has a couple of more thoughtful slower post metal type sections and if the imagination is stretched, there’s a note of human melancholy, but all in all it’s more raucous screaming, shredding and merciless pillage. For melody, substitute harshness and assault. Oh, and a man shouting in Icelandic as the crashing assault continues. Although clearly produced, it has the feel of being raw and unedited as if a group of angry young men got together to express their rage through the medium of black metal. The briefest of horn intros signals the start of “Sár” which then goes into the customary ranting black thrash fest. Towards the end it features a rare expansive section. When they deviate from the raw aggression, I found that Naðra are at their most imaginative and impressive. All that remained was the nine minute “Fallið” and guess what – it explodes into a whirlwind and a seemingly terrible tale, captured by uncompromising and merciless instrumentals and screams to waken the dead. But wait – there is a soft and haunting acoustic passage. Mysticism enters the scene but for a few seconds only as the inevitable explosive outburst ensues as we re-enter the world of impenetrable horror. This leads to a further colourful expanse of extreme metal musicianship.

I’m not sure what this was all about exactly but there’s more than a clue in the title “Allir Vegir Till Glötunar”: All Roads to Destruction.

(6/10 Andrew Doherty)