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Released: 2014, Indie
Due to the misanthropic nature of Black Metal there is a massively higher percentage of one-man Black Metal bands than any other genre. Zaklon is one of many bands from Eastern Europe where one-man Black Metal bands are very common, moreso than other parts of the world.
NIKOLI is the bands fourth album and is the effort of Temnarod who is established in Belarus with a record label and he has had membership in other bands over the years. NIKOLI, which means ‘Never’, is a fairly conventional, atmospheric Black Metal album. I can’t compare to previous efforts but we do know there have been no lineup changes since the last album! Temnarod’s vocals are very abrasive during much of the album, but there is some really good variation is his vocal delivery. He whispers, shrieks and has a nice baritone speaking voice on some of the interludes and introduction. There are any number of tempo changes and long ambient sections, but never enough to drop into drone territory. Invariably the song circles back to raw, primal Black Metal aggression with thin guitars and vocals way back in the mix. The compositions of mini-suites unto themselves most of the six cuts, each running 8-11 minutes, making for a long, dense listening session. There are many sound effects taken from nature and the album ends on a quieter note with acoustic guitar and more voice-overs. NIKOLI is compelling and finds a nice balance of moods; aggression juxtaposed with good atmosphere.
There is a simplistic, purity about NIKOLI that caught my ear. There is an enormous amount of Black Metal in this style and commercial acceptance or recognition may or may not even be one of the goals of Temnarod but either way, this is an enjoyable listen and worth checking out.
Temnarod-All instruments and vocals
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