NEFASTT - La Malignité Des Astres (ATAVISM Records - MC 2012)
Recently I was contacted by French label called Atavism Records, if I can give a listen and possibly also review some of their releases. I honestly never heard of Atavism before, and none of their bands were familiar to me, but I liked the idea that they promote their local scene of Burgundy. When I got two cassettes the first one, which I started to listen to was this one – a debut album “La Malignité Des Astres” from band called Nefastt. I’m already after few spins of their MC and am ready to transfer some of my thoughts about the album on the computer… and I must admit that I am very impressed by the music, which this French band performed. I honestly didn’t have any expectations, but “La Malignité Des Astres” turned out to be a very good, involving and essential black metal release.
Nefastt hails from Burgundy, but one listen to their music and I can point out that the musical roots of their style lay far in the cold North, in Norway. It won’t be a exaggeration if I write that Nefastt sounds like a classic Norwegian black metal band and it also won’t be an accusation, as the songs they composed and arranged for “La Malignité Des Astres” sound not only very good, but also way better than many of the recent Norwegian bands, so I definitely have nothing to complain here.
Nefastt performs something, what I enjoy most, speaking of the black metal styles – which is a mixture of the traditional, harsh, raw black metal, but played in more atmospheric way, with some epic or monumental passages here and there, with a decent dose of melody, but also with a lot of killer blackened aggression and ruthlessness… And if I summon such monikers as Kampfar, Isvind, Kvist, Urgehal, Taake and even some early Satyricon, then you may have some idea for the actual music of Nefastt. And I like it a lot. The album is pretty long (but that’s because it features also the demo), but there is enough variation and good quality to make it interesting all the way through and never annoy with trivial part or something dull and primitive. The riffing of Nefastt is just incredibly good, I like it a lot with such tracks as “Tauriacus” or “Finis Lucis” (I hope I picked up correct titles for the songs, which I have in my mind) – lots of the sort of medieval harmonies, great instrumental passages in the vein of Taake, cold atmosphere… And on top of everything I must admit that the production of “La Malignité Des Astres” is just very good also, with some great vocals performed by two band members (Havoc Vulturus and Guillotine). Ha, I bet that if you call yourself Taake maniac for instance, then Nefastt music will draw your attention as much as it did hook me up. This is kind of black metal I like most!
Side A of the cassette included all new songs, which compile the “La Malignité Des Astres” album and side B contains the 2008 “Nefastt” demo, so it is another great reason to listen to the whole stuff, as this way we can have a complete look at the Nefastt music and see how their style has developed between these two recordings. This demo definitely sounds more primitive and rawer, the production is more crude and the vocals more shrieking, so I can admit that I don’t like it as much as I do the full length album, but that doesn’t mean it is worthless piece of garbage. It’s still a very decent material, with some splendid moments and which provides an expected sinister, eerie and obscure atmosphere… and if the album is better than a demo, then it only means that the band goes the right way and evolves properly.
So, what else can I ask for? Maybe some more killer albums like “La Malignité Des Astres”, as this definitely is one of the highlights of 2012, speaking of black metal for sure. Recommended! But be aware that there are just 150 copies of the cassette, but there will also be a CD version released soon.
Standout tracks: “Tauriacus”, “Finis Lucis”
Final rate: 90/100