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Label: Nigra Mors

Date: March 15th, 2024

Among the first questions asked on the recent presentation of a Serbian horror literature collective Crnoslovlje was the one about Mr. Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Namely, how long will the authors keep with the creations based on his work. The answer was simple. Forever. With such a vast field to explore, there will always be some angle of perspective from which you can shed a new light on these timeless masterpieces.

Those are the first thoughts that came to my mind when I grabbed hold of the new Nados Na Escuridade CD. Take a look at the cover art and you’ll see why. With the name “Hic sunt dracones”, a phrase often used on medieval maps to describe an unknown (dangerous) portion of the sea or an ocean… Well, you’ve all read “The call of Cthulhu”, right? If not, there are not enough words in the dictionary with whom to recommend it.

Now, “Nados Na Escuridade fai Metal Abisal”, says the inside of this digipack CD. Abyssal metal not being a commonplace of the genre, I still need to explain it. Cutting it down to bare essentials, this Galizian duo performs doom metal. My actual thought, prior to reading the statement above, was to call it dark doom metal. It might sound redundant, considering doom metal is rarely (if ever) not dark, but there’s a deeper note to Nados Na Escuridade that bars you from dubbing it purely doom metal.

Most of it stems from the production work. The overall sound of “Hic sunt dracones” is raspy, sanded. Dry with a hint of slime. I’m not referring to sounds of southern rock, even if Kyuss could be somewhat of a close reference when it comes to sound sphere occupied by Nados Na Escuridade. It’s actually close to some old film footage, shown from a worn-down reel. Quite fitting if you think about it, as an old horror movie whose charm can only gain in weight by the lessening of quality.

With that in mind, “Hic sunt dracones” needed exactly the sound it was granted. Its drums sound like the waves, slowly eating away at the ship’s old age. Guitars are building the anxiety at the front door of the uncharted island. Rugged whispering voice beckons like a distorted siren of your worst nightmare. Every aspect of this recording is used to decorate the eerie feeling of the misty megalith island you know you should avoid at all cost, but somehow can’t resist.

At the same time, “Hic sunt dracones” grants us a few quite nice riffs, particularly in the second half of the opening track. While on the subject, that same track offers a whole “lifetime” of a song development, from a serene introduction of a quiet day on the sun-bathed deck, to the unnerving exoticism behind the threshold of the unknown. The song flows through the emotional and atmospheric range, proving the thoughtfulness of the two experienced composers. The song is like the calling card of the duo, presenting all their combined power of depiction and storytelling through sound. The rest follow in its footsteps, all the way to the fourth and final, “Baixío”, which is an instrumental outro, driven by the synth (performed by a person dubbed H3ll). This one sounds like an homage to the final chapters of many tales of Mr. Lovecraft, the warning to all the curious, adventurous souls out there, to dare not follow in the footsteps of Nados Na Escuridade.

However… Reading, listening and contemplating on the subject covered is recommended. Maybe even necessary in order to better understand that there are powers beyond our ken. Some things we are not meant to understand. Leave them alone. Instead, spin “Hic sunt dracones” a few times and Nados Na Escuridade will provide you with more than enough to try and cope with.

P. S. The back cover could be a depiction of a scene from “Dagon”. I’m pointing it out just so I can force you to examine the cover art as well as the music. It’s worth it. Still, the back cover only comes with one out of just a hundred copies pressed of this CD. Be fast and get it.

 

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