"Terra Damnata"

By Lord Randall

Bands like Colorado’s NIGHTBRINGER, despite what I’m sure are their best intentions, give me hope. From the extremely occult lyrical focus ala Melechesh and hyper-speed blackness of "Apocalypse Sun", my first experience with the (at the time) quartet, I always pined for something special from the band. Lo and behold, 2010 came with "Hierophany Of The Open Grave", and that “something” was delivered. Now three guitarists strong, if anything, the frantic pace of the past was ramped up, yet the group seemed more friendly to the idea of dynamics - peaks and valleys within their work – than before, which led to an album I still give its share of playing time. 

Now, two albums later, "Terra Damnata" is upon us, and if anything, NIGHTBRINGER has upped the ante even more. Three guitarists and three vocalists in any band is going to court the danger of a sonic traffic jam, but founding members Naas Alcameth and Ophis know what they’re doing by now, and slide into the .002 millimeters of space assigned to them as easily as the other four members, each weaving themselves seamlessly into what can only be called a tapestry of music approaching the orchestral in writing/execution, where no one player takes center stage, but all combine to create majesty. I could go song by song here, but there’s truly no point, because, from the throat-opening of ‘As Wolves Amongst Ruins’ to the frenzied closing of ‘Serpent Sun’, "Terra Damnata" is blackened, blasting relentlessness personified.