12/08/2013

REVIEW: Neglektum - Blasphemer


Genre: Black Metal
Label: Record Union
Date of Release: November 7, 2013

JET-BLACK METAL

Established in 2008 from Västerås, Sweden, black metal trio Neglektum released their first demo the following year called "Beyond the Frozen Mist." In 2013, the triplet would release their first full-length album entitled "Blasphemer." 

The musicianship is quite solid despite a few of the flaws it has. The vocals, for one, do tend to sound a little forced at times, an example being the unintentionally funny bit during the halfway mark of "Babalon." On the other hand, however, they do sound decent nonetheless and capture the level of wickedness that is appropriate for this type of universe. The guitars and drums also hold their ground well, respectively giving off wicked black metal riffs and a raw framework. There's nothing that new, but everything is still well-performed. Instrumentally, "Blasphemer" fares well.

Production-wise, this album also succeeds. Even though the snare drum does tend to sound a little odd, especially when it's being played during the blast-beats, the music still is nicely mixed. It sounds raw and buzzed to fulfill black metal standards, but at the same time, there is actually a little polish in it that makes the music more potent. This helps because it makes for easy access for anyone who is new to black metal, easing listeners into its thick atmosphere while holding its firm sense of roughness.

The music is tightly-composed overall, and it is a nice callback to the older-school black metal sound with the dark riffs and all-around rawness. In addition, the whole tracklist has a good level of dynamic, being able to shift away from its usual slithering violence for softer but equally cold passages every once in a while, such as the acoustic interlude "Salvation." This is sort of a bare-bones black metal album, well-constructed with engaging structure, dynamic, and sound.

Judging from "Blasphemer," it certainly looks like Neglektum has a bright future ahead of them. Black metal fans should have no trouble finding something to like here, and newcomers of the said genre should view this album as a nice gateway record. This trio has a lot of potential on their hands to make their next release even more sinister.

Score: 8/10 (Great)