Nachtzeit buries melody, harsh growls beneath layers of dirt, noise on new EP ‘Sagor I Natten’

nachtzeitThe age-old argument of how black metal is supposed to sound like will burn on until the end of time. Or until the style of music burns itself to the ground once and for all. For many, only a rough, crude sound that seems barely produced will work. But we’ve progressed, and a smoother, cleaner sound has become more accepted.

For Nachtzeit, he tends to stretch in each direction, depending on his project. For his dreamier Lustre, you get a flush of sound, a rush of textures that surround you and carry you into space. But on his self-named band, we’re into basement aesthetics, the grimiest of the grime, where you must struggle and claw to hear all the elements mixed into each other. On his great new EP “Sagor I Natten,” he mashes all kinds of madness into four tracks that last about 16 minutes combined. It sounds like utter chaos if you simply put in on in the background and don’t pay attention. Don’t make that mistake. There is a lot of melody and nuance hidden within the mire, and while it might not be an easy listen first time around, the layers open each time you go in.

nachtzeit-cover“Ett Fjärran Minne” gets the EP off to gruff, brutal start, as wild, animalistic howls can be heard penetrating the thick noise cloud, and those get more feral as they go on. The aforementioned strong melodies are there, lying beneath a ton of muck as they loop away and spiral a hole to the bottom of this thing. “De Färdas Genom Natten” tears right open and gushes colors everywhere. Even amid the soot and dirt, various shades help thin lasers of hues push into the picture, while a death haze arrives and takes over. Melodies lap underneath, sinking into infectious noises that warm your blood, even if the rest of you is freezing, and the back end storms heavily right up to its conclusion. “Över Myr Och Mark” is a quick interlude of dungeon synth, as visions of sharpened swords and shields being prepared to hunt dragons spill into the mind. At least it did into mine. Closer “Där Allting Har Sin Början” is the longest song at 6:48, and it gets off to a raucous start, charging hard and bringing with it harsh noises and creaky growls. Melodies drive and coat the skin like a spring storm, while the track continues to unload, with weird, monstrous fires blazing, the vocals sounding like they originate from a creature in a lost cavern, and the remnants of the track washing away.

Nachtzeit has only given us two EPs under his solo moniker, and both have been sooty, smothering affairs. Whatever his reason for choosing this approach must be a good one, because he sure isn’t trying to hide a lack of skill or fascinating ideas on “Sagor I Natten.” This is an EP that might sound best amid a total whiteout snow storm, where your senses already are heightened trying to figure out what’s around you.

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