Nae'blis - _Beyond the Light_
(No Colours, 2004)
by: T. DePalma (6.5 out of 10)
Weeping lead rhythms fall onto gently snoring guitars in a sidereal drama that opens with a gliding waltz of lonely instruments converging for this auspicious, but slightly weary album.

Nae'blis is the sole-fronted black metal project of Magnus Wohlfart, who has ingrained himself in the Swedish folk scene over the past six years, coming and going between kindred groups such as Yggdrasil, Trymheim, and Folkearth. This latest venture is withdrawn into an atmosphere of oneiric chords and light keyboards, giving off an air of departure. A good start, as the best music of this genre imparts something like men dancing with their own thoughts. Like a scratchy chorus of trees brushing in the wind, Wohlfart's vocals are of the (now) unspectacular, early Burzum variety, but usually stand well within the compositions themselves. What really halts things is the drum programming that appears in some tracks, ravaging an otherwise organic flow with cheap blast beats. There are also some elements of this release that reflect more mainstream leanings; what I would call more "easily understood" melodies; relatively benign pieces like the title track have something filmic about them -- sentimental, but not so inappropriate.

At forty-four minutes, most of _Beyond the Light_'s formula and consistent pacing makes the experience seem longer than it is, but Nae'blis's more lustrous expressions of Nordic solitude provide a firm center for exploration and honing of its own voice.

Contact: http://www.naeblis.cjb.net

(article published 31/3/2005)


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