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Limelight Oct 3rd



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Neamh​-​mharbh | ‘Neamh​-​mharbh’


This is some excellent, dark and rumbling black metal from Galway’s Neamh​-​mharbh.

Unafraid to linger in the slower tempos, cloaked in atmosphere yet clear as a bell, they really, really know what they’re doing.

There’s a sort of ‘Belus’ feel to the jagged riffing of both ‘The Terror of the Revenant’ and (moreso) the frostier ‘Excursion of Cathrain’, which is impressive.

But mostly its just about the fluidity with which their riffs twist between icy cool and a more brutal, detuned and detailed crunch.

Their use of subtly placed ambiences to underlay the music is impressive as well. A misty, evocative celtic themed track, ‘A Grave Of Thorns’ – pipes, almost-there bodhran, soft whistle – serves almost as an ominous heartbeat. Full of feel.

All that before the charcoal roar, Xasthur guitar and rumbling drums of ‘Remission’ – though it’s probably the weakest of these tracks.

It is extremely dank, atmospheric and straddles a highly commendable line between raw and finessed.

Well done: another excellent BM development in Ireland.

Earl Grey ::: 04/09/18


20 Comments
  1. Great to hear the galwegians are into that belus era sound like suggested. Still an underrated gem. I’d loose the clicky bass drums & hyphen! though. Great art too.

  2. Somme good riffs on there but it’s not really doping a lot for me overall. The repetitive drums kill the atmosphere and end up drawing focus away from the song. A real drummer and a bit more variety would bring a lot to the table. I don’t get the point of the trad arrangement in context with everything else that’s going on either. The band name and artwork are a bit middling as well. It sounds like the lads should step back, figure out a clear direction and then work it out from there. Good to see something new emerging in terms of BM as always though and here’s hoping they can make a proper stab at it in future.

  3. That was me posting above. Cunting predictive text on this phone is a disaster.

  4. You can’t please some people!

    It’s still miles better than most of the BM demo bands on the scene at the minute. and the trad arrangements work really well to these ears.

    Just take it for what it is… A very good demo from new band.

  5. I can be pleased alright. This sounds to me very much like a home recording- a demo in all respects- and as such, undeveloped. There is promise buried in there, it just needs to be teased out. I’m sorry to say, I just don’t think this is anywhere near as incredible as CT or you think. I do hope the lads can build on the positive parts and redress the elements that don’t work.

  6. Neamh Mharbh couldn’t be a more standard name alright. It’s fairly impossible to find a drummer in Galway of any genre let alone black metal, and with double kicks? forget it. Good to see some bm coming from the town either way, even if I wouldn’t really be into the atmospheric type myself.

  7. I dont thinks it’s blow away amazing, just that it’s strong, competent, has a sense of self, and is credibly atmospheric really.

  8. Real drums would change things a lot.
    More considered drum beats at least. The first song is 6 minutes of the same slow plodding drum beat. It has a bit of a Beherit vibe but should have been a minute long intro or else developed more. The second song has the exact same fast drum beat from start to finish too which is a shame as some of the angular riffing might have come to life more with more nuanced and changing/ morphing beats behind it. The drums sound like an afterthought or like they are merely place holders until they get a real drummer in.

  9. “The drums sound like an afterthought or like they are merely place holders until they get a real drummer in.”

    That’s exactly what I feel, too.
    But that’s fine with me at this ‘demo’ stage.

  10. Neamh Mharbh

    So… Deadheaven? Is that a little wink and a nod?

  11. Think it translates as “undead” too.

  12. Poisoned dead?

  13. “The first song is 6 minutes of the same slow plodding drum beat. ”

    Aren’t you in Wreck of the Hesperus?

  14. Doesn’t quite work as an insult in terms of the drums though, does it?

  15. Anyway, back to the topic. There’s plenty in there to work with and I’ll look forward to watching them grow.

  16. Courteous Snake Says:

    This is a solid release from a hardworking bunch of lads. I’ve heard some of their newer material and it’s going places.

  17. They need to get x,y and z and then write songs that i like done in a style that I like with some more elements of things that I like and then I might like them at some point in the future..

  18. Indeed, that is one way of misinterpreting some friendly advice! I suppose they could always just go the typical ‘ah sure it’s grand’ Irish route and release a couple of demos to their mates, play a gig or two to the same mates and then fizzle out. Or they could look at the elements that work and the ones that don’t and take it from there. But sure, whatever…

  19. Or they could do whatever they wanted and use whatever they like for drums and write whatever sort of thing they want and have a go at experiencing artistic freedom seeing as the likelihood is that they will never make a living out of it anyway and so it would be more of an artistic outlet than a business concern.

    And there is no “ah tis grand” thing going on here. It is either that it floats your boat or it doesn’t. No point playing to the common denominator before they have started playing to anybody at all.

    I get that you are in a band from the thread so far. Do ye not by consensus make whatever sort of music ye like, or is it a case of playing to some potential market when you do write stuff? Not a dig I didn’t mean it like that and I didn’t hear your band (yet, but i will surely give it a go now), I am honestly curious.

    And reading back this seems a bit like I’m trying to get an argument going but it isn’t that. It is something that interests me, the whole playing the game right vs doing whatever the fuck feels good, rules or no rules. Maybe a demo review isn’t the place for that inevitably long winded discussion either

  20. I’m all about artistic vision. That’s what real metal music should always be about but that doesn’t mean that anyone’s creativity (mine included) should ever be above criticism. The lads are entitled to take anything I, or anyone else, says on board or to ignore it completely. The fact remains that if you make your music public, you will get a whole range of opinions. From my perspective the band have promise but it’s not fully realised for the reasons I outlined above. Just. My. Opinion. There is nothing wrong with the trad arrangement, for example- it just doesn’t make sense with the tone of the other songs. It’s not incorporated in their style, it just appears in the middle seemingly out of nowhere and the style is entirely abandoned for the last song which reverts back to the previous style. An artistic choice maybe, but l think it’s a poor one (in context).

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