Monday, May 22, 2017

Black Faith - "Nightscapes" (Throats Productions, 2017)

Band: Black Faith
Title: Nightscapes
Genre: Black Metal
Year: 21st January 2017
Time: 67 min
Rating: 87/100

After 4 years since their excellent debut album "Jubilate Diabolo", the Italians Black Faith are back with their second effort "Nightscapes", preceded by the curious single "La Preda" (2014), containing the cover of a song with the same title of the historic Italian rock band Litfiba, surely a strange way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a black metal band! But don't worry because Black Faith remains "black" by name and by music also because with "Nightscapes", released by the Mexican label Throats Productions, they have a lot of hardship inviting numerous and even distinguished guests coming from the Italian black metal scene. The result of all these efforts is an album so traditionalist in the sound to be very ambitious also because "Nightscapes" is a journey that lasts 67 minutes per 11 various songs.

Well, the music of Black Faith is always the same compared with "Jubilate Diabolo". In fact, this quartet, guided since the early days by the singer/guitarist Snarl, plays a very violent black metal with a lot of severe riffs, and this is a style sublimated perfectly in songs like the devastating opening track "Obsecratio" (only 2 minutes) and in the black/thrashing metal onslaught known as "Throwback!". At the same time, the capacity of Black Faith to alternate the most violent songs with another ones full of melodies and atmosphere has remained unchanged. This is shown by tracks like the very long "The Shadowline" and into the titletrack, both characterized by a melancholic riffing (especially the first one) and both ended by an acoustic part  with a nocturnal aura. But the melancholic atmosphere of the aforementioned songs is brilliantly exemplified by "Consecrabor", a slow number with some tones full of sadness before ending the album with a (too!) interminable and ambient-like "Outro".

But who are the guests present into the album? They are even 7, and many of them are coming from very important bands of our peninsula. For example, there is "XeS", singer of the known Infernal Angels that has lent is voice for the telluric "Culmination of Injustice" (one of the better songs of the album). Then, there are Mancan and Sicarius Inferni, respectively singer and keyboarder of Ecnephias, both absolute protagonists into the short ""Preghiera" ("Prayer" in Italian), an intermezzo with liturgical keyboards and tenebrous clean vocals in Italian. Instead, "Throwback!" see the participation of the hyperactive Lord of War (Athanor and others) at the vocals and of Triumphator (of the young black metal band Atavicus) at the lead guitar playing one of the very rare guitar solos present into "Nightscapes" (the another one is listenable in the previous "In Total Disgust"). Then, Kjiel (past stable member of the same Black Faith while now he plays in Eyelessight) is guilty of the acoustic parts of "The Shadowline" and of the titletrack (in this one, they are also integrated with the metal parts) and, finally, Lord Sinister (Solitude Project) help out Snarl in "Consecrabor" for the vocal torments.
In brief, "Nightscapes" is a very imponent effort also because Black Faith have increased significantly the average lenght of the songs until the 10 minutes circa of "The Shadowline", so in order to create also tracks with very effective variations and dynamics like the fantastic "In Total Disgust". In addition of this, I prefer by far the foggy production of "Nightscapes" compared with the cleaner one of "Jubilate Diabolo" while I have to frame the vocal performances of Snarl, that is often literally demented and expressive (for example, listen to "Culmination of Injustice" and then let me know!). So, also if "Nightscapes" isn't totally perfect (numbers like "These Corridors Spurt Blood" are a bit anonymous), it is another good effort by Black Faith that will be surely perfect for everyone wants a pure ancient black metal with some light thrash metal influences (like in "In Total Disgust"), also because songs as "The Shadow Line" are able to bring seriously the listeners into the golden (dark) years of the Norwegian black metal of the various Immortal, Emperor and the other usual suspects. Said all this, it's a shame only that "Nightscapes" was destined to be the last production of the band with the bassplayer Acheron, now substituted by Vrakor, also if he is only to be considered as a live member.


1 - Obsecratio
2 - Culmination of Injustice
3 - Preghiera (Intermezzo)
4 - Never Eternal
5 - In Total Disgust
6 - Throwback!
7 - The Shadowline
8 - These Corridors Spurts Blood
9 - Nightscapes
10 - Consecrabor
11 - Outro


Snarl - vocals/lead guitars
Attar - rhythm guitars
Acheron - bass/backing vocals
Hyàkrisht - drums/percussions


XeS - backing vocals ("Culmination of Injustice")
Mancan - vocals ("Preghiera")
Sicarius Inferni - keyboards ("Preghiera")
Lord of War - backing vocals ("Throwback!")
Triumphator - lead guitar ("Throwback!")
Kjiel - acoustic guitars ("The Shadowline", "Nightscapes")
Lord Sinister - backing vocals ("Consecrabor")

Throats Productions:

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