(Goathorned Productions, 2014)
Swedish Neglektum released their first and only Demo in 2009, and five years later this full-length came out. Although being released almost a year before writing this review, the album definitely deserves praise in 2015 as well.
While about half of the Black Metal world of today seems to be obsessed with chaotic, dissonant and murky atmospheres, it is a delight to come across Black Metal music with clear production and traditionally melodic riffs. There is something very Swedish to the riffs of Neglektum, in the Dissection (and later Watain) kind of style, but not in a completely copying way. What the album sounds like the most is traditional Scandinavian Black Metal of the nineties, so I am getting very nostalgic feelings.
The production of the album is very good with all instruments clear and audible in the mix. The drums are played in the typical Black Metal way with enough expertise to fit the music, with not too many risks or technicalities, but spontaneous bursts of Death Metallic drumming here and there spice the overall feeling nicely. The guitars and basses are played elaborately as well, with no boring melodies or parts to be found. On the contrary the overall listening experience of the album is true Black atmosphere from start to finish. It is also great to find skilfully executed guitar solos here and there, as well as some nice acoustic guitar picking.
I am however most pleased to find the vocals sounding original for once, screamed majestically without any extra effects. They do most definitely sound individual enough for me not to be reminded of any clear comparisons, but if they would have to be compared to some other vocalist, I would say they sound like a bit higher version of Erik Danielsson, but as in the case of the riffs, not enough to think of the band as another Watain-copy. Clear singing can be heard as well, fitting the music great.
This album is recommended to all who want some quality traditional melodic nineties Black Metal feeling into their lives for a change. I am seeing a good future for this band, despite the current trends.