netra – Ingrats (Hypnotic Dirge)Tuesday, 28th February 2017
Add to the classification scheme that of “urban black metal.” The French one man black metal project netra has been engaging in this category for two previous full-length albums, and Ingrats marks the third collaboration with the eccentric label Hypnotic Dirge (seemingly a perfect fit for this act). While in describing netra’s sound, the kitchen sink analogy works but what’s stranger is how well it all sits together in the final product.
netra weaves together depressive black metal, trip hop, darkwave, gothic/alternative rock, and jazz into a surprisingly cohesive product. Opening with a jazzy, noir-ish vibe, things quickly jump gears into the caustic assault of blast beats and agonized screams of “Everything’s Fine.” Arguably the most ‘metallic’ song of the album, it still diverges into clean singing and gentle keys before the song ends. Trip-hop and darkwave vibes permeate “Underneath my words, the ruins of yours,” which serve to almost seduce you into a lull for the following “Live with it,” which feels like a trippy take on a ‘80s gothic rock track that was merged with present-day Anathema. It’s this type of experimentation that keeps you on your toes from start to finish, with barn-burning blast beats and black metal merged with more dark and depressive moments of more melodic segments. There’s just something about a track like “A Genuinely Benevolent Man,” which blends trance-inducing darkwave elements with a build-up to frantic black metal that needs to be heard directly to be fully appreciated.
Masterfully dark and intriguing, Ingrats again shows how elastic the black metal genre can be when accessed properly. Though the most intense segments are scattered throughout the album, the constant feeling of isolation and depression holds all the different elements in place to create something more than the sum of its parts. If you enjoy music that’s truly avant-garde, this should be next on your purchase list.
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