CD REVIEW Nattfog

Band: Nattfog
Title: Mustan Auringon Riiti
Label: Hammer Of Hate
Distribution: Hammer Of Hate
Release date: February 24th 2012
Review: CD

Despite their Swedish name, duo Nattfog (Destruction and Adelwolf), born from the ashes of Norns, hail from (the southern shores of) Finland. Last year, they did release a highly interesting split with Nekrokrist SS, and this review deals with Nattfog’s first full length in their five years of existence. And if you’re trusted with last year’s split, you will know what to expect again, just with a minor difference: the better production, even though not completely satisfying.

When it comes to the production: it is unpolished indeed, yet of the majestic Underground-kind, and not the backroom or garage sound some bands might consider ‘evil’ or ‘anti-social’. Poeha! Yet the final mix might be much too ‘soft’, making obscurity inferior to melody. Nothing wrong with melody, of course, especially when dealing with the well-balanced use of repetition and epic. It just might have sounded more, er, ‘full’ or ‘brutal’ (shit, looks like I’m reviewing a cheap Grind / Death release).
Mustan Auringon Riiti opens with the instrumental Blinding Fog, which brings a slightly Falkenbach / Kampfar’ish atmosphere. Nice starter for sure. The album gets characterised by simple and mainly slow to mid-tempo melodies and structures, lacking of experimental additions or any modern or progressive element. It comes much closer to the likes of Bathory, Burzum, Horna, Xasthur, Sargeist and this kind of Excellence, yet without any blasting outburst. Uncompromising but cohesive, warlike but somehow relaxed / relaxing as well. Sometimes it does get melancholic, then again Nattfog go the Pagan way, caressing the icy Nordic winds, penetrating through a veil of Mother Nature, or creating symbiotic peaks of shamanistic rituals. The outro, Kaksitoista Askelta Luvattuun Valtakuntaan, differs while being a somewhat medieval-tribal instrumental with keyboards and dry percussions, in the vein of some weird mixture of Lugubrum, Grabesmond and Summoning / Pazuzu.

This is such an album you need to experience in its totality. It does not deal with the individual tracks, which are, strictly seen, not that memorable. The album as a whole must be considered a dark musical journey through spheres of desolation, misanthropy and spirituality, and it just might please you if you’re a Sombre Soul.

83/100

Ivan Tibos.