Released: 2015, Avantgarde Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Nature and paying homage to one’s homeland are very common themes in 21st century black metal. These Americas have given us some of the finest in that theme in the past few years, but nothing such has come out of the land of Argentina. That was until I came across Argentine outfit Downfall of Nur, and was sent their first full length album: UMBRAS DE BARABGIA.
This is an audible trip into another world. Tribal instruments accompany an eeriness and grinding guitar and rolling avalanche of drums that only black metal can offer. The introduction has samples of rain pouring and trees swaying into the wind, so something pleasing for all nature lovers who see black metal as a very pro green culture.
‘The Golden Age’ sets up the band’s journey around the mountainous regions of their local land with a seventeen minute aria that blends indecipherable vocals with an epicness matched by Caladan Brood and the like. Band overlord A has really worked on his output and has come back with something to rival the works of Earth and Pillars. Atmospheric black metal is really taking off and I am pleased the Argentine scene has added to it.
‘The Downfall of Nur’ track has a slight drone to it which reminded me of Wolves in the Throne Room. And with the addition of classical strings that sounded like cellos and violins I could see how this guy has a deep love of all music which he wants to incorporate into his love of nature and black metal. nature is an extreme element of the world so it’s only just to write about it with some of the most extreme music ever concocted.
‘Ashes’ and ‘Umbras de Barbagia’ round off the release with a grittiness and blending of tribal musicianship that reflects the native behaviour of A’s local world. You can hear the cry of a wolf on ‘Ashes’ which might be his nod to the wildlife in the hills and mountains which might be of concern to conservationists in Argentina.
I was reminded heavily of US band Panopticon and their fusion of atmospheric black metal with bluegrass. Downfall of Nur have done just that with the local music of their land which is something I find incredibly intriguing. This is a band trying to reflect the ways of their world in the most extreme way possible and I think this Argentine outfit has nailed that right on the head.
The Americas are a haven of good black metal today and it’s great to see more southern nations adding to the canon.
Review by Demitri Levantis