Negator - Old Black
Remedy Records
Black Metal
8 songs (38:11)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review
German Black Metal is the chief competitor with France as the definitive Central European Black Metal nation. As the Scandinavian borne genre crept southward, these talented and creative nations were capable of twisting the genre to their own regards, establishing themselves along with the Ukraine as what is really the big three of modern Black Metal. Sure, the Scandinavian plane is still a seed bank of excellent Black Metal, but as the genre globalized, other powers rose to compete alongside the titans of Black Metal. With the French choosing an experimental tinge to their Black Metal, with their best known bands being the loved/hated Blut Aus Nord or the universally hailed Deathspell Omega. The Germans chose a violent side of Black Metal. Whether it be the astral onslaught of drawn out aggression like my favorites Lunar Aurora or the consistent brutality that so many bands (recently Endstille ) display, many of these German bands show the same attacking mentality that their Wehrmacht showed as they trampled France. In many ways these two Black Metal outputs are reflections of their culture. This is not to say that Germany is an inherently violent nation, but it seems as if the French embrace their artistic nature that ebbs and flows with their romantic language, appreciation for fine art and dining, among other things. German is a rough language, spoken by hardy people in the cold of their land. Their history is one of turbulence, stemming all the way from the Protestant Reformation to the start and loss of two World Wars. Could these notions truly be the defining factor behind cultural Black Metal in Central Europe? That obviously being a blanket statement which is not wholly true at every juncture. Negator are a band that I was lucky to discover through the numerous lists that users post. Some of them are complete bullshit, citing a band like Cradle of Filth on something like “Top 10 best BM albums evarrr!!!” But others have value to them. Negator are one such band. The vocals reap madness, the guitars are chaotic, and the drums consistently attack. However, despite such a niche in the Black Metal world I like to call “warfare” Black Metal due to its lyrical (and musical) centrism to the principles of war, the production and the band are surprisingly tight, a most welcome facet of Old Black. Once again, this is my first exposure to this band, a theme that has been occurring quite often these past few updates. Negator are a band with four pieces, three releases, and good ones at that! They are a group from Hamburg, Old Black is their first release. What better way to start than from the very beginning?

Having heard one track off of Old Black I had to buy it at its asking price of less than $3. Thinking I stumbled upon a bargain that I would probably put in the 60s, I figured about 20 points per dollar would not hurt my coffers. Little did I know how excellent this release would be. Old Black is nothing new, but an old formula with pieces constructed from several classics weaved into one monster album. It helps that the drumming is fast and accurate along with the very audible and clear string section. Nachtgarm is truly a highlight on vocals. It seems as if some of the bands that feature a member solely on vocals tend to excel in this regard. Exhibit A: Endstille. Exhibit B: Marduk. Oft times a Black Metal band will grab a competent bassist and just have him throw on vocals as if they are just background static and deserve no commitment in the genre. While it is somewhat truthful that Black Metal does not focus on vox like Death Metal sometimes does, bands who work hard to perform the best possible vocals seem to gravitate towards my player more and more often.

I have found that in many ways I tend to dissect songs on a microscopic basis. Well, on this review, I am not going to spend any time discussing what the songs entail, but simply state that each song has a different motive, a different mood, a different quality. Some tracks conjure thoughts of all out warfare, cataclysmic death, raining fire. Others are depressive, with minor riffs creating that bleak atmosphere that has made Black Metal so infamous. The musicianship on Old Black is nothing short of reputable. Everything is clean and clear, but does not have that polished sound that detracts from the blackness of it all. Each riff is a true work in structural chaos, if such an anomaly does exist. Drumming here is precise and well-wrought. The double bass lines as fluid as the blast beats. Overall, this is an album where each song kills, but the album does not clock in as long enough. It bears a monster riff each measure, with killer drumming to accompany the work. I will be searching hard for more Negator, as I expand my horizons towards the French and German scenes. I spend a whole lot of my time with Ukrainian BM, and hope to continue my trek through Europe, a wondrous landscape marked with several fortresses of Black Metal villainy.

Killing Songs :
Tony quoted 95 / 100
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