REVIEW: "Black Frost" By NAILED TO OBSCURITY (Death Doom)
Death Doom/Nuclear Blast/Released Jan 11, 2019
Fittingly titled for a release in the middle of winter, Black Frost by Germany’s Nailed To Obscurity is a dark and dreary mixture of doom, death, and Gothic metal that breeds comparison to the likes of Paradise Lost and Katatonia. While not exactly the first band to combine these styles, the band does keep the song quality high. with their usage of haunting melody, atmosphere, and combination of growled and sung vocals.
It’s interesting how well the melodic instrumentation doesn’t clash with the death growls. Mostly thanks to the discernible and dynamic growling style of Raimund Ennenga. Much of the album is in this vein with dynamic builds and releases of tension and alternation of singing and growling. “Resonance” is an exception with it being a fully sung track of darkly melodic doom.
The final three tracks of the record are re-records from the band’s 2007 debut Abyss…. They’re also the heaviest of the lot leaning more into death metal territory with their faster tempos, aggression, and lack of melodic singing while also holding an improved vocal performance compared to their original versions. These tracks add another dimension to the record showing the band can turn up the heat when they feel the need to.
Black Frost is a strong record that blends the moody atmosphere of Gothic metal with just enough punch from their death metal side to keep things fresh. It’s always a feat for a band to keep things interesting in songs with six minute plus run times. And Nailed To Obscurity accomplish that with dynamic songwriting that keeps each track moving forward rather than repeating and trudging. Making Black Frost a strong listen for the melodic metal fan.