Near - The Opening Of The Primordial Whirl
De Tenebrarum Principio
Black Metal
8 songs (41:06)
Release year: 2010
De Tenebrarum Principio
Reviewed by Goat

Let’s face it, with a name like that it has to be either pretty zany Prog Metal, or pretty plain Black Metal, right? Hailing from Italy and featuring Tenebrae In Perpetuum’s drummer, Near actually fit into neither category, opening their album with almost neoclassical ambient synths and launching full-speed into an organically murky wall of noise, wooden-sounding drums and high buzzing guitars, shrieking vocals coming at you from a distance... this is quality, and becomes more so with each listen. The band was formed in 2002 and the members have all played in at least three other acts each, so are steeped in the black arts. A real subtlety to the songwriting means that you only appreciate the weird catchiness of moments like the banging drums of Ventrar with time, that typically odd but ever-worthy Black Metal hypnotic quality drawing you in and keeping your attention whilst the world keeps turning, unnoticed. That odd album title actually makes sense once you’ve heard the music, its primordial whirl sure to keep ears pinned back, as it moves from the torrential Aquile Nere and its stately, elemental five minutes to the more reasoned downpour of The Mountain’s Blood.

What makes reviewing bands like this difficult is the fact that to the untrained ear, both of those tracks are pretty similar. Indeed, if I hadn’t enjoyed this album so much then the main criticism fired at this would be the repetitious nature of it – for me, this is overcome. Black Metal is about the atmosphere above all, and if you’re seeking some good atmospheric Black Metal to lose yourself in, then Near perform their task to perfection. Those looking for a headbanging exercise probably won’t find it here, although it’s possible to nod along to anything if you have to. Near are aimed at a particular sort of Black Metalhead, the sort that listened to Transilvanian Hunger, found perfection, and ever since then has not really seen the point of progress in the genre. As much as I love the likes of Dødheimsgard, it’s hard not to agree from a certain perspective, given the aural mountains gradually and majestically scaled in the likes of Veins Cut On Man. Italian Black Metal has a purity and intensity all of its own, and fans of the style will eat this up.

Killing Songs :
Ventrar, The Mountain’s Blood, Old Wolf, Veins Cut On Man
Goat quoted 79 / 100
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