|Review: Ordinul Negru - Nebuisa|
Label: Loud Rage Music
Year released: 2020
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: May 1, 2021
Reviewed by: Micah.Ram
Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)
From Romania, Ordinul Negru are a seasoned Black Metal troop who have been around quite a while, having formed back in 2004. They currently have eight full-length albums and two EPs, as well as a handful of split releases. Nebuisa is the current latest release from the band, an EP with four tracks which come close to the 30-minute mark. The EP has served as my introduction to the band, so rather than compare it with previous material, this will be a focused rundown of what listeners can expect from this release.
When considering the overall impression from Nebuisa, I cannot help but refer to this kind of release as forward-thinking Black Metal. Each of the four tracks here have a unique quality, but beyond that is that for the most part each track continuously evolves rather than establishes familiar verse-chorus traditions. This makes the album a blast to listen to if you find Black Metal is oftentimes too repetitive. If you prefer a more repetitive approach, or at least repeated verse/chorus sections, you might find yourself getting lost while listening to this one. Whether you appreciate this feature or are likely to feel lost, one thing for sure is that the band really nailed the performances here.
The first track "Nebuisa" is the most experimental sounding of the bunch, sometimes with a unique sense of tonality that evokes some of Deathspell Omega's unique tonality sensibilities. While I could likely write an essay breaking down the song and all of its events, I will refrain from straining your eyes and just let you know that this song packs the most diversity and standout features of the EP. In addition, it is well worth mentioning that drummer Putrid often steals the show with his incredibly impressive drumming. His blasting is very balanced and clean, and his fills and other various rhythms are just flawlessly executed. It's hard not to pay attention to his performances on the entire length of Nebuisa.
"Vodevil Isais" is the second track, which is quite different from the first track already. One feature that is immediately recognizable from the start of the song which also shows up in other areas of the EP is the presence of seventh chords. The band uses them at the start of the song which sets up a stable segment of harmonic tension before resolving upwards to relax for an equal time before shifting back again. This seventh chord quality adds much color to the band's approach on Black Metal, which allows them to sound less dark than typical Black Metal at moments. In addition, there is a short guest vocal from one Alexandra Nedel who provides a nice contrast with her clean singing midway through the song.
The third track "Maldoror" sees the band once again exploring different sounds, being a slower number. While I don't find it ineffective, I felt the song was a bit uninteresting when compared to the continuously evolving and exciting high-energy bursts of the first two tracks. However, some may enjoy the break from faster speeds and enjoy this track more than I did. The last track "Triskelion and the Chronograph" starts with a cool harmonic minor section which once again allows Putrid to shine with his drumming. This opening feels somewhat free while held to a repeating groove, and the numerous fills and patterns Putrid explores here are so enjoyable to listen to. Do pay attention to that as you listen to the opening moments of the song here. The song plays out much like a heavy, stompy march at times, especially in the center of the work. While it is more enjoyable than "Maldoror," it does not excite as much as the first two tracks.
Aside from comparing the first song's tonality sensibilities to Deathspell Omega in some way, I also felt at times that some directions the band took were not so dissimilar from the more recent material from Enslaved. I especially thought of Enslaved's songs "Sacred Horse" and "Storm Son" from E at times when hearing the faster songs here. Comparing to either band, however, may be nothing more than a disservice to the band, as you really just have to check them out for yourself. Ordinul Negru have proven that they are extremely worthy of notice, and with this EP they have proven that this many years into their career they still have an abundance of creative energy and spirit!
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