Nidra is a dark metal band from Perm, Russia. Their style reminds me of bands like Novembers Doom, Saturnus or Swallow The Sun. This duo has roots in black metal and somehow you can actually hear that in the music. However, the bleak atmosphere and blast beats made place for mesmerizing keyboards and deep growls. There is actually a lot of variation in vocals, ranging from the usual growls to angsty screams and clean vocal lines.
'Pathways Of A Dream (Kali)', my favourite on the album, has a dark ambient intro which remains present throughout the entire song. 'Prisoner' is a very strong modern day doom track that somehow makes me a bit homesick for the nineties. 'Thorns Of Never Existed' is another beautiful piece of doom metal that drives on dark eighties keyboards and a melancholic feel, a bit like a blend of Tiamat and Anathema. The three songs that Nidra delivered are amazing, very emotional and with a lot of variation.
Nidra / K.M.
'Abyss' is a Bethlehem cover. Now, I've never really gave this dark/black metal band a lot of attention so I can't remember what the original sounded like. Yet, I do like this cover, it reminds me a bit of Moonspell, be it a lot rougher and edgier.
K.M. stands for 'Katharos Melancholin'. This one-man project is also firmly rooted in the black metal scene and still active in several bands. His songs breathe a grim atmosphere, very much like many depressive black metal bands do. Furthermore, K.M. incorporates some influences from post-rock, gothic metal and even a bit of ethereal music. The result is once again stunning, three brilliantly dark songs.
For a twelve minute anthem, 'Mutilated By The God' seriously rocks. This, mostly mid-tempo, song really is a pleasure to listen to. I know because I've listened to it for at least seven times now and I still love every minute of it. 'Having Begun To Hate This World' and 'Cognizing The Grief' also come up with a lot of melody while still being able to maintain a strong rhythm.
In all, I really think this is a brilliant dark metal album, bringing the best elements of death, doom and black together. I'm sure this CD will find my neighbour-torturing-sound-device quite often in the following months and I'm going to keep an eye on these bands, that's for sure...