Friday, January 17, 2020

review: Porta Nigra

Porta Nigra
Soulseller Records
17 January 2020
Porta Nigra is black metal from Germany and they seem to have been around since 2010. This is their third album. Expect the traditional vocals (with a bit of variety in some places), guitar sound, speed and overall feel of black metal. Given this fact, there are at least two crucial points of interest for fans of serious, traditional extreme metal. First, the seriousness in the execution of their craft is very attractive. The tightness of the music and production is a great advantage for the listener. You can be confident that is not some loose-goose, tomfoolery job by people with nothing better to do than making loser’s metal music. This album sounds like it is made by people who are serious about their music as music (not as a “political” statement), hungry to prove themselves to themselves and to the knowledgeable audiences, and hungry to take their music to the highest level possible for them. This is all very good news because we do not have time for losers who don’t take their craft of being musicians as a life-long art. This band wants to be good at their instruments, and they are. In addition, the vocals are done very well. Harsh and extreme and all that, but the production makes it sound good to ears. This is professional-level musicianship and we are pleased about that.
The second point that we want to make here is the songwriting. The album is a good balance between the intensity and speed, on one hand, and finding ways to make the songs intelligible to the black metal audiences and to those lifer fans of extreme metal in general. For instance, throughout the album there are moments for the guitar melodies to come through, including places in which the soloing offers a substantial amount of memorable melodies, in ways that seem a bit surprising due to the catchiness therein. In January 2020 this album deserves for fans of headbanging black metal to investigate due to the overall quality and skill of the work in its entirety.

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