NETHERBIRD – Arete, CD
Jewelcase with 12page booklet, incl. all lyrics
On "Arete", NETHERBIRD return with their signature melodic black/death metal that has become their hallmark. It is deeply rooted in the Scandinavian underground legacy, yet delivered with a strong sense of feel and urgency, allowing these tracks to exude the confidence and songwriting prowess of a band at the peak of their craft. The album itself is the third installment of the trilogy that started on “The Grander Voyage” and continued on “Into the Vast Uncharted”. The journey has come to its completion with this album, where the very concept of Arete – the classic ideal of excellence – is scrutinized from various angles in these songs.
NETHERBIRD are by no means strangers to the Swedish extreme metal scene, having already released five acclaimed full-length albums, the last of which being 2019's stunning "Into the Vast Uncharted", also released by Eisenwald, as well as a slew of EPs and singles since their inception in 2004. Ever since then, the band has managed to blur the lines between black and death metal, managing to develop a distinct sound that culminates in their newest release, "Arete". Throughout their career, NETHERBIRD has featured members from several renowned extreme metal projects such as Amon Amarth, Dark Funeral and At The Gates. On "Arete", the music on display serves as evidence that the band has assembled its strongest line-up to date.
What sets NETHERBIRD and particularly the album "Arete" apart from their peers is their uncanny ability to fuse moments of sonic serenity and beauty with outbursts of pure fury, managing to flow seamlessly from ethereal acoustic guitar passages into melodic tremolo riffs accompanied by flawlessly executed blast beats, courtesy of the brilliant Fredrik Andersson, known for his prior work in Amon Amarth. These bold musical arrangements are presented in a warm, clear production, allowing all sections to breathe and engulf the listener in the sounds of "Arete". The dynamic range on display here is truly impressive, with vocals and drums having been recorded at Wing Studios and guitar and bass tracks having been captured at Scarecrow Studios, the album has undergone a masterful production job at the hands of Sverker Widgren at the aforementioned Wing Studios, where artists such as Sweven, Diabolical, October Tide, Wormwood, Centinex, and Mörk Gryning have recorded as well. On "Arete", Sverker Widgren's production showcases flawless instrumentation and a diverse vocal performance in their full glory. And as always with Netherbird, the lyrics offer deep and meaningful reflections upon the highs and lows of the human condition. Every track offers different observations of the pursuit of the highest ideals and the terrible cost that comes with that quest.
The cover artwork for "Arete" was created by French artist Nihil (nihil.fr). Currently residing in Norway, Nihil has developed into a renowned and exciting artist, whose art has been exhibited internationally and exudes a depth and capacity for introspection that is rarely seen in extreme metal cover art. His past collaborations include work with The Royal Shakespeare Company, Amenra, Hocico, Raison d’Être and In Slaughter Natives. In particular, his work for "Arete" serves as an ideal complimentary visual component crowning the existentialist lyrics of the album.
1. Âme Damnée
2. Towers Of The Night
3. Void Dancer
4. Infernal Vistas
5. Carnal Pentiment
7. The Silence Of Provenance
8. Atrium Of The Storm