Nefarium - Ad Discipulum
Agonia Records
Black Metal
8 songs (35:15)
Release year: 2010
Agonia Records
Reviewed by Charles
The first pure black metal album I’ve had to review for a few weeks, and it arrives through my letterbox courtesy of Poland’s Agonia- a label that can typically be relied upon to maintain a steady flow of worthy orthodox European black metal. Nefarium are an Italian band, but unquestionably Norsk in style; are currently touring Europe with Dark Funeral, and Ad Discipulum features guest vocals by 1349’s Archaon, to point to just a couple of clear comparisons. This is a decent record, on the whole; whilst it very rarely deviates from the usual blasting templates in any substantial sense, a concerted effort has been made to generate a distinctive style through the use of some effective instrumental innovations. More on that shortly…

First, it should be said that that for the most part this is highly capable black metal. Instrumental performances are good, particularly the drumming. This is provided by what must surely be the band’s most high-profile member, Garghuf, also of Enthroned (and former session muso with Gorgoroth). A lot of the album’s energy is owed to his proactive pounding. As with the aforementioned Belgian stalwarts, the riffing strikes a neat and powerful, if not especially thrilling, balance between tremolo intensity and hints of melodic colour that render them appealing to the ear. On closer Mass Infanticide by the King of Judea (some of these titles are spectacular) lyrics seem to be discarded for the sake of a rush of maniacal “blaaaaaaaaargh!”s, adding a bit of a theatrically Satanic, almost camp edge to enliven things. Further adding to the appeal is the occasional rock ‘n’ roll guitar solo, as on Tongue of the First Pope, which has an Urgehal-like sense of devil-may-care recklessness.

So, instrumental innovation? Specifically, although I can find no reference to it in the promotional material, a mysterious violinist makes a couple of striking guest appearances. This is first introduced very sparingly on the opening track, as a curious way of adding colour to a familiar black metal template, but is granted the spotlight on Servus Servorum Satanae. The achievement here lies in the fact that at no point does it come across as a gimmick. Instead, it skips gleefully around its electric cousins for its short solo section, giving the track a joltingly folkish feel amidst the imperious blackened wrath.

Straight-up black metallers should seek this out. It has idiosyncratic flourishes to distinguish it, but it also has the basics down. Worthy Satanic art.

Killing Songs :
Servus Servorum Satanae, Tongue of the First Pope
Charles quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Nefarium that we have reviewed:
Nefarium - Haeritichristus reviewed by Alex and quoted 67 / 100
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