Netherbird - Arete (2021)


Having released one of our top Melodic Black Metal releases of 2019, today we have Netherbird with their latest opus: “Arete”. Further refining their already crafty and elegant sound, this release unleashes nearly 45 minutes of majestic music, up to the quality level of bands like Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child with a mixture of Uada. Perfectly crafted for fans of melody and aggression, this Swedish outfit have managed to outdo themselves with this highly impressive release.

After the traditional atmospheric intro, the release opens with the blistering “Towers Of The Night” and its incisive guitar work. Both guitarists, Pontus Andersson and Tobias Jacobsson are at the top of their game, creating expertly layered foundations for impressive tracks like “Infernal Vistas” and “Carnal Pentiment”. The overall sense of melody thanks to the dramatic arrangements on pieces like “Void Dancer”, greatly distance the band from the competition as it is perfectly blended with the more aggressive elements.

For those looking into Uada-style headbanging pieces, our personal favorite “Mystes” delivers some serious riffing and dramatic guitar leads, all perfectly framed by some intense drumming courtesy of Fredrik Andersson. As the release progresses, the tracks continue to get more refined and punishing, like the blistering tremolo picking of “The Silence Of Provenance” and its crafty tempo changes.

Closing with the triumphant “Atrium of the Storm”, Netherbird showcases that they are a whole new breed of Melodic Black Metal band. With a fierce conviction to technical proficiency, aggression, and balance, “Arete” is one of those special releases that always allows the listener to discover something new with each spin. Highly recommended release for any fan of fast, aggressive, and yet delicately melancholic/melodic Black Metal.

Band: Netherbird Album: Arete

Label: Eisenwald

Release: August 6th, 2021

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Genre: Melodic Black Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 97/100

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