Porta Nigra - Schopfungswut
Soulseller Records
Black Metal
6 songs (46:49)
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Goat

Following up 2015's entertainingly bizarre Kaiserschnitt, German trio Porta Nigra have returned to a sort of normality for this, their third full-length. Gone is the historical satire; instead, this is much closer to traditional black metal in style, even past the opening screeches of Tongue as he roars the band name and album title (meaning 'wrath of creation'). Guitar-driven and blasting, but not without layered vocals as a remaining experimental venture as the lyrics are spat out, the Dødheimsgard-isms of the band's previous album entirely lacking here; opener Die Kosmiker building roughly before erupting in extended guitar soloing towards the end, and the band seem almost a different unit to that which released Kaiserschnitt. The weird spoken word and gasping that ends the track is, surprisingly, better, as is the following Das Rad des Ixion, more melodic in riffage to the point where it's one of the best pieces on the album as it drives the eight-minute track onwards, like a Germanic and even more melodic Drudkh at points.

Yet the album never really attempts to do much more than this, to the point where subsequent tracks (particularly the grimmer, harsher Die Augen des Basillisken) can feel like variations on a similar theme rather than anything distinct. There are no less than four eight-minute tracks present and they all feel a little too long and overstaying of their welcome, as technically solid as they are instrumentally; even the slightly more aggressive Die Entweihung von Freya which is one of the better tracks present thanks to its more unique feel, drags. The avant-garde and experimental approach that they took on previously and have lost here is really missed, as it feels like the band have removed a major reason to be interested in them. Otherwise Unser Weg nach Elysium has some nicely melodic lead guitar and the closing title track ups the intensity to sadly less memorable results; this isn't a bad black metal album, but stripped of what made Kaiserschnitt so fascinating it can't help but feel second-rate, and even when viewed in isolation comes over as a little boring and too traditionalist in style. Solid enough but not especially interesting; they can't all be winners.

Killing Songs :
Das Rad des Ixion, Die Entweihung von Freya
Goat quoted 60 / 100
Other albums by Porta Nigra that we have reviewed:
Porta Nigra - Kaiserschnitt reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
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