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Nemorensis : The Fae Queen

Mixing raw Black/Doom with Ambient, US band Nemorensis nonetheless deliver that fairly standard package with a noticeable deftness and skill.

'The Fae Queen' is the first release I've listened to from Nemorensis. The American band may be somewhat new on the scene, so to speak, but from the very beginning of this album, it sounded like they were veterans rather than newbies.

Musically speaking, this is a band that is very much on a knife edge as to whether they're be classified as a Doom band or not. I daresay some of the purists would not be a fan of music like this but as far as I am concerned, the music on this release just about qualifies as Black/Doom, especially with the superb atmosphere generated. Be aware that it's not going to hit you like early Katatonia though!

Nemorensis ooze their way between intense raw Black Metal and slower passages with tortured vocals. The mix for this album is very raw but I can understand that. I actually think it aids the approach of the band more than it hinders. I'm a fan of how easily they jump between an intense assault on the old eardrums and their slower, more atmospheric passages. The tortured vocals are superb too, particularly when the reverberations are echoing.

I couldn't honestly say that this is a particularly unique release though, because it's not. It's relatively standard approach to Black/Doom or "Suicidal Black Metal", depending upon your interpretation. However, purely assessing the band on how well they've done it, I think that this is a good album. It's an extremely atmospheric and dark composition with plenty of enticing Ambient and corrupting Black Metal. There's nothing complex nor mysterious about it, much akin to the band's clear influencers like Shining and Silencer.

Yes, there are elements that I think the band could do better. For example, I think they're sometimes a bit too repetitive, particularly toward the middle of the album. I also don't understand how there's a "Pt. II" track but not a "Pt. I" anywhere, even on previous releases. However, overall, I think that there's more to enjoy on 'The Fae Queen' than there is to complain about, which can only be a good thing.

For me, one standout feature of this release would be the album artwork. It's a simple digipack but I love the photography and the colours on it, It's not often a band impresses me to this extent with their album artwork but Nemorensis has done brilliantly here, I must say.

To summarise, if you like very raw Black/Doom with Ambient passages and/or Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal, you should enjoy this album. It's not one I'd move mountains to pick up but it is a good listen and it ticks all of the boxes for what I like to hear in this particular vein of music.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. When It Finds Us
2. Breath
3. Elysium
4. The Green Sea (Pt. II)
5. The Fae Queen

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Nemorensis bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-10-09 by Ian Morrissey
Vanha - Black Lion
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