Title: Nær Døden
Label: Blut & Eisen Productions
Release Date: 13 March 2018
Myrkraverk was formed in 2007 in Karmøy, Norway, of course playing black metal. There are two EPs in bands doscography – one in 2009 and one in 2011, before releasing Nær Døden in March 2018. The only known fact about the current lineup is that Thor Erik “Grimnisse/Infamroth” Helgesen of Skuggeheim and Throne of Katarsis, is playing in the band. The announcement on the Blut & Eisen record label page states it is a duo band (on pictures too), led by him, but not mentioning the other musicians. When I heard for the first time the album, several things made me impression. First of of all that the album production is very low, it sounds really like a demo, or like some of the classic black metal records from the mid 90s. Second thing, was that in some cases, there were some good ideas which the band tried to explore and develop. And last but not least, that the album contains 14 tracks (almost 49 minutes running time). The album seem obscure and occult, raw to certain extend.
When I listened to Nær Døden carefully another few times to prepare the present review, I was convinced on the following: if this particular underground way of sound was intentiosly sought, then it is a big mistake. Especially the the drums sound bad when almost all the time the songs consist of double bass. The guitars sound way too clear over the drums, and that could be heard on those short guitar atmosphere tracks of around one minute, which the band put there. Yes, the album may consist of 14 track, but half of them are not longer than one or two minutes, which made me compare them easily to demo samples thrown in the album. I can completely understand what the band have tried to do with such approach, but some of them are completely unnecessary for creating overall atmosphere (“Astral”, “Sensdlava” “Nordveggen II”). “Blåkvit” and “Dimensjon Dødsspiral” sound different, noisy, rawer, in comparison with the rest. Songs like “Heidinn Rites Blott” and “Instinkt” are decent. This one along with “Natasatan” includes very good raw and clear acoustic guitars mix. Influences by Isengard, Storm, Satyricon or Dark Throne might be spotted easily in the record. Blut & Eisen states that Nocturno Culto (DarkThrone), Gruttle Kjelson (Enslaved) and Hoest (Taake, Gorgoroth) are performing guest vocals in the songs, but that wasn’t enough for me. I haven’t found a real reason to play again Nær Døden anymore. It is one of those (demo-like) records which are just released, maybe with more enthusiasm than with anything else. It lacks of originality, and we have heard similar and much better efforts many times from the 90s till now. The band really should focus on differentiating and improving the sound, adding their own soul and ideas into the music and really developing them. Until there is some hope yet. 4/10 Count Vlad
4/10 – There is some hope yet