NACHTBLUT was originally founded in 2005 as a project by vocalist Askeroth. But it soon was clear that a proper line-up needed to be made. In 2007 the band played its first gig. That same year the band released a first recording, “Das Erste Abendmahl”. And so the gig calendar was filled with more gigs, including sharing the stage with EISREGEN, WATAIN, IMMORTAL, SODOM, ENDSTILLE, VARG and more. Two years after “Das Erste Abendmahl” the band finally releases its debut album: “Antik”. Another two years later NACHTLBUT signs a deal with Napalm Records and album no. 2 is born: “Dogma”. this came out on the 25th of May 2012. And it’s also the first NACHTBLUT release I get to hear.
NACHTBLUT is said, according to the press text, to play Dark Metal, another catalogues the band under (Melodic) Black Metal. Black Metal is not exactly my cup of tea, though I can appreciate it better in combination with other styles. Examples of such bands are BLACK MESSIAH, MOONSORROW, MÅNEGARM, BEHEMOTH, and so forth. Anyway, NACHTBLUT is by far not a Black Metal band. The only thing Black Metal I found were Askeroth’s shrieky vocals. But the music is nowhere near it.
“Dogma” contains eleven tracks, starting with the title rack. Keyboards set in this song, with piano leads and syphonic backings. This part continues when the rest of the music is added. The verses are indeed dark and mysterious, also because of the piano accents. Askeroth’s vocals are hoarse and there’s overall a feeling of suspense. Something has to give in the chorus and indeed, you get full musical power. Simple but effective! And here the shrieky vocals are at play. Melody plays a big role, not only in between, but also over halfway the track, when you get a symphonic bridge. No signs of Metal then. This brings us back to the chorus. All in all, “Dogma” is a catchy song, very accessible, too.
“Der Weg Ist Das Ziel” begins with a marching snare, which is a nice idea, I must say. Then simple bombastic power breaks loose. It’s a midtempo song with guitar and drumpower contrasting, or rather, collaborating with melodic/symphonic layers. The music is basically Hard Rock with a heavy, catchy rhythm and (atmospheric) melodies, which reminded me of the last few releases by U.D.O., as strange as that may sound. The pace is not that high. Ending occurs with marching music, too, and in a jolly fashion. “Ich Trinke Blut” is next and goes back in time, musically. The introduction of a harpsichord sound is indicative of that. Dark, symphonic Metal follows, sounding similar to the music bands like RHAPSODY (before the OF FIRE era), DARK MOOR and similar have created. Only, NACHTBLUT makes it darker, more atmospheric and also groovier. Somehow HOLLENTHON comes to mind. The focus lies again on catchy melodies, while guitar and drums provide the necessary power and rhythm, which sounds dancy. The vocal input consists of shrieks and growls. All in all, another good result. Nothing super, but it does the job.
In “Eiskönigin” the band adds electronic elements to begin the track, in combination with a heavily grooving guitar. Sounds a bit (!) like STAHLMANN or RAMMSTEIN, especially with the whispering and tribal-like verses (see drums). The shrieks come out in the bridge, while the chorus is straight-forward rocking. I do like how flow between grooving parts and calmer stuff. Keyboards play a key role, again, for melody and atmosphere, while Askeroth’s shrieks not only sound like Dani Filth’s (CRADLE OF FILTH), but are – in my opinion – very annoying here. The music in “Rache” also contains a slab of Industrial. The song starts this way, rising to a climax, after which Metal kicks in. It’s got heavy grooves like on CLAWFINGER’s album “Use Your Brain”, with tracks like “Power” and “What Are You Afraid Of?” as reference. The verses are devoid of Metal, consist of symphonic elements and do indeed sound dark and atmospheric. Lyrics are dealt with with hoarse vocals. Full grooving power, with atmospheric melodies, is reserved for the chorus. So are the shrieks. Somehow, you could consider this track a power ballad.
Speaking of ballads, the intro of “Mein Herz In Ihren Händen” gave that impression, as it started softly with the piano. But once the guitars and drums fall in, any indication of a ballad is wiped away. The music is played firmly and keyboards make the picture comple from the back. The leading vocals dual-layered: hoarse and shrieks, the latter again being annoying, as if he’s in agony or something. Perhaps they’re of use, lyric-wise, but to listen to, they’re not exactly candy for the ear. It is strange that the contrast this time is reversed: the chorus is calm compared to the verses. Oris that the bridge? In any case, hell breaks loose afterwards. Even stranger is when all this is done and seconds of silence are created. You think the track is finished when suddenly electronic beats kick in. What the…? Yep, electronic music, nothing to do with what preceded, but if it makes sense to the band, I wonder what sense that may be.
“Mordlust”, like the title indicates, is not a happy song, rather quite a brutal one. You get a church bell to begin with, followed by electronic waves, building until the music erupts from that foundation. The playing is firm, at a reasonable tempo. Atmosheric verses contain harsh vocals and this combo creates a creepy and dark environment. When all musical power is unleashed in the chorus, I had to think of INNER FEAR. See for example this video: click here. INNER FEAR released the album “First Born Fear” in 2011. Another original way to start a song is how it happens in “Macht”, where you get trumpets, like in an old film. The dialogue samples adds to this nostalgic feeling. Orchestral Rock/Metal sets in then with a simple beat and rhythm. The verses are once more atmospheric with whispered singing. The beat/rhythm doesn’t really change as the chorus is played. But the Metal is prominent here. Melodicness is provided by the orchestral backing.
Time to go back to church in “Busssakrament”. The organ couldn’t be a bigger proof. Slow Metal in vein of U.D.O. (to name one example) comes in, but with added symphonics and atmosphere. Whispered, atmospheric verses also contain the organ, which is a key instrument in this song. Black Metal shrieks aren’t that far away and with the Metal it sounds like RAMMSTEIN’s “Sehnsucht” album. Things get wilder over halfway and not in a small proportion. There’s even a guitar solo, albeit a short one. The catchy rhythm stands out, here too. “Vulva” is another song that reminded me of RAMMSTEIN and in particular their hit “Ich Habe Keine Lust”. It’s as if NACHTBLUT copied that rhythm and added shrieks and snarling vocals. The atmospheric break halfway brings back the harpsichord, which adds a romantic touch to the music. Last there’s “Schritte” which is a ballad consisting of only symphonics, piano and vocals. But it does have a dramatic feel.
NACHTBLUT and Black Metal? Not really, save for those vocals, as I said earlier. The music can in general be catalogued as Dark Metal, that’s the best option. The songs on “Dogma” are simple, simple in structure, catchy however, but very linear. The production is very good, very smooth. Musically you could describe it as Hard Rock meets Gothic Rock meets Industrial. It’s not a bad album, but it’s nothing to get excited about either.
- Der Weg Ist Das Ziel
- Ich Trinke Blut
- Mein Herz In Ihren Händen
Askeroth – vocals
Greif – guitar
Lymania – keyboard
Sacerdos – bass
Skoll – drums