|©2003 Black Lotus Records
1. As The Clouds Of War Gather
2. The Continuity Of Land And Blood
3. The Great Meridian Tide
4. Revolt Against The Modern World
5. The Life And Death Of Europa
6. The Triumph Of Will
8. Salvatores Dei
9. The Plunderer
Over the past few years, black metal has gone from a somewhat subversive, uniquely challenging subgenre to a style that's getting as bland as pancake batter. The sense of innovation is long gone and there have sprung up literally hundreds of bands whose only intention is to "whip up hell fury" and essentially sound just like the bands who they listened to at home.
Naer Mataron is several albums deep into their career and while they're perfunctorary and reasonably talented, they certainly do little to stand out from all the other grimacing, cranky wrestler-painted bands out there who promise to bring armageddon to compact disc form. Black metal has never been known for using subtle touches or innuendo and as a result, Naer Mataron's River at Dash Scalding uses up nearly all their weoponry on the first couple of songs and the remainder of the album is an exercise in repeating the same limited songwriting over and over. Think Marduk. That's right. Naer Mataron goes for that same wall of blast beating sound that focuses almost solely on intensity and forgets the concept of dynamics. There are occasional nuances hidden within the dense cluster of sound, but the production is so busy and crowded that it takes some effort to wade through the swamp. Like Marduk, Naer Mataron seldoms goes above and beyond the typical shell of black metal to truly shine as an interesting and unique act.
On the flipside, there are still legions of fans who want nothing more than an intense, blasting experience and Naer Mataron will gladly provide it. As with many second or third tier bands of any subgenre, Naer Mataron has its moments where you can see the appeal for others, but for more discriminating ears, River at Dash Scalding seldom gets beyond the realm of typical and predictable.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 06/2003