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Review: Nehemah - Shadows From The Past
Shadows From The Past

Label: Oaken Shield Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 57:27
Tracks: 33
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: December 1, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Shadows From The Past

Rated 4.1/5 (82%) (10 Votes)

I was hoping this would be another masterpiece like "Light From A Dead Star" or "Requiem Tenebrae", but despite a strong start, Nehemah's second CD is not as good as either of the other two. It has songs that are as good or better than anything this band has ever done (in other words, about as good as Black Metal can be), but it peters out towards the end, and has a few weak spots that cannot be explained away.

Nehemah are in full Bathory-worship mode here, as not only has the production been stripped down to a more "Sign Of The Black Mark" feel, but Corven has made his trademark shriek sound more gravelly, so as to better recall Quorthon in the old days. Now if all the songs here were as good as Bathory tunes, we'd have no problems, but they aren't quite. The first two tracks, actually, are both pretty similar, with that characteristic epic Nehemah sound with a bit of added Bathory crunch – solid BM tracks, but nothing to really get you. The best tracks are the next three: "The Thousand Tongues Of Medusa", the awesome "Warlock" and "Siguilum Sanctum Lycantropia" – awesome stuff. Here Corven and Co. have successfully mixed old-school Norwegian Black Metal, Bathory heaviness, and their own touch of melody and dark atmosphere. This is as good as BM gets, just raw, grim, epic tracks of monster riffs and heavy groove. "Warlock" in particular would not have sounded out of place on an old Bathory disc, except it's too good. But after this, the album just kind of peters out. The title track is good, but never really gets going. "Selvmord" is cool, but it goes on too long , and has this silly whacked-out "aroooooo"- style wolf-howl at the end that just sounds ridiclulous. Then we get "Drawn In Darkness", which is not even a song – just 30 seconds of crowcalls and whispering.

Then we have the voyage through 24 tracks of silent nonsense to get to a good cover version of Bathory's "Call From The Grave". It says a lot about the rest of the album that this song fits right in with the rest of the music. Still, I just hate covers in general, so this is a throwaway track.

"Shadows…" is a really good Black Metal album, and in places it's great. It just can't live up to the other albums in this band's discography. In comparison to the awesome "Light Of A Dead Star" and the groundbreaking "Requiem Tenebrae" I have to say this one sounds uneven: impressive in places, and in others oddly weak. Still a more than worthy album by a vastly underrated band.

Other related information on the site
Review: Light of a Dead Star (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Requiem Tenebrae (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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