Review: Nahtaivel - Midnight Sessions

Midnight Sessions (Wave Records)

Check out Nahtaivel on Facebook or at their Official Website

I received an actual hard copy of this CD in the mail, which is always an awesome thing!

The first thing I will say about Nahtaivel is that it is definitely a very progressive blend of Black Metal strain and current industrial, which is a really good thing in my book. I was a big Black Metal fan when I was younger, so a lot of the influences for Midnight Sessions hit home for me. I like it a lot.

I was a little shell-shocked at first by the lack of “Four on the floor” beats, but I think that is what makes this album so great, is that it is very untraditional in that sense. I hear a wide array of influences from both worlds, and I think that really makes the style stand out from what is being released today. There are a lot of sounds that I haven’t heard used in a long time within the more Terror-y stuff – fat moog synths, detuned chords, vocal styles that change (oh burn!)

Another thing that I like is that there is a different style presented as the album goes on. There is a little bit for everyone who likes spooky music. It reminds me a lot of Alien Vampires at times.

The music itself, on a composition level, is very detailed. A lot of layers, a lot of changing elements that work really well together. There is also a lack of structure that works really well for the style (it’s not verse chorus verse chorus stuff – lots of break downs and goodies in there.)

Then, with tracks like “Audition” I hear a lot of Velvet Acid Christ mixed with some classically awesome robotic vocals (which I sometimes frown upon because it is a little over played now a days – but his tone is really nice – reminds me of Columbine.)

There are also tracks like “The Wheel of Vengeance” that are slow and brutal, a lot of hardcore influence there with the break down beat. I like it a lot. It plays to my interests.

The title track, “Midnight Sessions.” is by far my favorite thought. Right out of the gate there is this super epic saw-synth pattern, which is the foundation of the song, that you hear and go – oh, this is going to be a really good song. “Midnight Sessions” is like if Dimmu Borgir made industrial in the Godless Savage Garden era, really well. I would imagine this song going over really well live. It starts out pretty epic – but as the song builds in itself, it gets more and more brutal. At about the 2:45 mark, it really comes to full force. Very very good.

I would suggest this album for anyone who likes Black Metal, horror industrial, TerroEBM, Aggrotech, Dimmu Borgir, Velvet Acid Christ, etc. If you are like me, and you go dancing a lot, and you’re used to pretty traditional 4-on-the-floor industrial, I would also suggest giving it a second listen to get it to really sink in. YOUR STUCK IN YOUR WAYS GOOD SIR! EXPAND! But for you there is a track that will stroke your techno generation ego - “Bugs” is a solid dance beat.   

Interview: reakt[ion]

I’ve watched reakt[ion] grow over the last few years in a really brilliant way. I’ve thrown my cents at it here and there, but I can say that Wes definitely has his own idea about what he wants for his sound, and that is really important for a project to succeed. I am endlessly interested in seeing where this project will go in the future. The first demo took a million years to come out, but for good reason - It’s a really fine tuned first demo and I would suggest it to anyone who likes HarshEBM

Current release: Attrition
Label: unsigned

You recently released your first demo, “Attrition,” after a long period of silence – What does “Attrition” mean to you, and is there a general theme to the demo?

The title “attrition” was meant to be representative of some common themes from the songs it contained. There is a lot of war in the demo. The songs from the demo were written over a couple of years, and there’s some evolution in the songs that kind of show my political evolution over that period of time. The beginning of the demo is very war and religion oriented, but by the time you get to Parasite, I’m talking more about domestic politics; the modern reactionary conservative movement, fear-mongering in the media, things like that. Soulless, which is a homage to Blade Runner, is an exception to the war/politics theme.

What are some of the major influences you had for “Attrition”?

Musically, I originally come from a punk background. When I started writing music in the early 2000’s, it was all political punk music, so I think my music tends to carry the more traditional verse chorus song structure. Distorted Memory has been a huge influence on my music, I really like the way he layers his sounds, as well as the hard trance influence he brings to the genre. I’ve also been heavily influenced by Tactical Sekt.

What plans do you have for a follow up demo?

A Christmas album! No, right now I don’t have any hard plans for a new release. I’ve been stuck in a lyrical dry spell for a while now, though I think I’m finally starting to push through that. Once I have something new, maybe a single with some remixes.

Do you have any live performances coming up, and do you have plans to expand to more than 2 people?

I don’t have any performances scheduled at the moment, but I’m always looking to play shows. I don’t have any plans to expand at the moment. Two people is fine with me.

What new releases are you currently listening to?

Knife Party’s new “100% No Modern Talking” EP. Its got some amazing beats. I’ve also been enjoying Aesthetic Perfections “All Beauty Destroyed”. “I Hope You Choke” by [product] has also been on heavy rotation.

If you could tour with any one band (current and in rotation), who would it be?

I’d love to tour with Distorted Memory or Aesthetic Perfection. Distorted Memory has been a big influence on my music, and I love seeing Aesthetic Perfection’s performances.

What are your top 5 albums of all time?

Oh man, this is going to be the hardest question. I think I’m going to have to bust this into two categories, top 5 in the genre and top 5 general.

1. Burning Heaven - Distorted Memory
2. Swallowing the Sun - Distorted Memory
3. Syncope - Tactical Sekt
4. Precognitive Dissonance - Manufactura
5. Harsh Generation - Grendel

In No Particluar Order:

Anything by Tom Waits
The Ziggurat - The Constructus Corporation
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
Welcome Reality - Nero
Ain’t No Grave - Johnny Cash

What are some movies that your watching currently?

Contagion, 50/50, Hannah, X-Men First Class, and Fast Five are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Contagion and Hannah both had really interesting soundtracks. I really liked Contagion, I think it was fairly accurate, both scientifically, and sociologically. Hannah seemed like Kick-Ass meets Jason Borne, and was a lot of fun. 50/50, no joke, made me tear up a couple times. Of course, X-Men and Fast Five are probably the greatest films of our generation. Both were works of true cinematic genius.

What video games are you currently playing, and what is your preferred system?

I just finished a Skyrim binge, I think I put in close to 100 hours there. I’m back to Minecraft now, peppered with a liberal amount of Modern Warfare 3. My preferred system is definitely the 360.

What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

Mass Effect 3. Die Antwoord’s Ten$ion. I am also tentatively looking forward to the election season. I really would like a crazy fringe candidate like Perry or Bachmann to win the Republican Primary so I can see them debate Obama, because that would be amazing and hilarious. I know Romney’s going to win, though, so this election season will probably be fairly boring.