On this album, Ash mastermind is only responsible for the vocals, according to official information; the result is an album not only unusually technical for being a Nargaroth album, with a few virtuoso solos by guitarist Bernth (who among the other things was already before in the live lineup of Nargaroth). Era of Threnody is very introspective and meditative, a very mature album, one of Nargaroth's best (if not the best) in my opinion, and certainly one of the top releases of 2017. The album is very profound and varied and never repetitive or boring. It opens with spoken words about the continuous but inescapably frustrated quest for happiness or “a place of perfection” that we humans are incapable of finding. The album continues with desolate melodies that sound almost like singsongs. Almost all the first part of the album is full of such melodies, often even acoustic, which give the illusion of being taken from some folk music tune, but loaded with a sense of melancholy and desolation; those tunes will remind you of Southern Italy or some other place in the South, not certainly the Teutonic Germany, and are actually inspired by Flamenco, which according to Ash is an archetypal expression of masculine temper. Other influences can be distinguished, such as jazz elements in “Epicedium to Broken Dream”; black’n roll elements are to be found in “Love Is a Dog from Hell”, which also has a few syncopations, and “TXFO”, which is slightly similar to something like Satyricon's “Fuel for Hatred”; in addition to several acoustic and clean guitars, Ash also does a good job with clean vocals in “Era of Threnody” and “My Eternal Grief, Anguish Neverending”. All this is sealed by a majestic production.
As far as the lyrics are concerned, they reflect all the personal experiences of Ash; in “Whither Goest Thou” you will recognize a longing for home and at the same time for new places (listen to the introductory spoken words) blended with some nature mysticism:
“Don’t cry my beldam
Your lost son must go
I take your song with me
Your tears and your woe”
To make it short, Era of Threnody is a masterpiece of pure and modern black metal, and it is imperative for all blacksters.
Era of Threnody was released on May 16 2017 through Inter Arma Produstions.
Kerim "Krimh" Lechner: drums
Renata V: vocals (choirs, spoken) (tracks 2, 5, 6, 10)
Text by Herjann