|Review: User Ne - Atropa Natura|
Label: Dark Symphonies
Year released: 2006
Genre: Pagan Metal
Review online: December 20, 2006
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 5/5 (100%) (1 Vote)
User Ne are a nine-piece (!) Spanish outfit, who with their third album Atropa Natura, weave a blend of Folk, Pagan and Atmospheric doomy ambience into an hour of mystical, eastern inspired music. And damn was it hard to review. Yes, after sitting for the entire hour plus duration of the album, I was left with little to say, which is a shame because on the surface of things, everything I tend to look for in a Pagan metal band seems to be present and correct here. The only thing that seems to be missing is… well the songs to truly make it stand out.
The entire gamut of ethnic instruments are implemented into the songs, cleanly sung male and female vocals, as well as throaty graveled roars all float ethereally over the culturally enhanced melodies (we'll ignore the abhorrent 'electro' track "Temptation of Belief" to be kind to the guys). Acoustic guitars are dominant, as well as bells, flutes, whistles, bagpipes, tribal (egghh – that word again) percussion – the whole shebang. However, I found myself thinking on more than one occasion "for fucks sake – you'd have thought that between NINE members, one of them might've come up with something that didn't smack of the average middle-grounded poop that fills up most of this album".
That is User Ne's downfall unfortunately, the fact that all in all they've created a competent album which didn't suck quite so badly that I wanted to grate my ears into a bag, seal the remains in lead and dump it in the Atlantic Ocean. But with that said, it is very much on the lower side of average in most respects (apart from musicianship, you can't really say these guys don't know their way around the maddening array of instruments, it's just that they don't quite know how to use them to their paramount effectiveness), and that's the only residue that's left tattooed into my synapses. Not even the Arabian sounding instrumentals replete with finger cymbals ignited my interest, let alone whisk me away to some dusty side-street at dusk on the other side of the world. I won't be listening to it again any time soon. In fact, I think I'd rather cut off my ass and sit in vinegar. Indistinctively ambiguous.
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