(Het Zicht Van De Dood)
Black Metal, Death Metal, Pagan black metal
Arctic Frost, Falkenbach, Blackguard
Indeed, a brilliant name. A palindrome that embodies strength and wisdom. In hebrew, 'Natan' means "to give" and exudes kindness and love. The debut full-length from Belgian born Natan is certainly a diverse one that includes dashes of folk metal, acoustic segments and complex song arrangements. To be frank, as is common in the genre, the vocalist often makes or breaks the album.
The redeeming feature in Natan's approach are the attempts at diversity, featuring chorus-like melodies and female accompaniment. The unfortunate problem here is that the lead singer, who dominates the album, sounds like a bulldog grunting when he gets a good piece of meat.... gnawing and growling, gnawing and growling. The contrast when the band jumps out of dog-grunting metal mode into female folk ballad is too stark and lacks fluidity. Overall the album is quite somber and does feature a fair amount of "bringing it down". Three tracks "De Hoge," "Mijn Lot" and "Grauwbaard's Lied" provide a bit more depth and atmosphere for the listener. Blends of violin and acoustic guitar do become the highlight of the album providing for a dark melodic forest feel.
Overall we found the production mediocre. The black metal guitar riffs are less than stellar and quite mundane. Ultimately, Natan's debut is one that does not make our heavy rotation. The overriding reason for this is that we find the lead singer's brooding dog gnawing very tough to bet beyond. - 5/27/2014
Standout Tracks: De Hoge, Grauwbaard's Lied