Darkestrah - Official Website


Germany Country of Origin: Germany

1. Journey Through Blue Nothingness
2. Kök-Oy
3. Nomad
4. Destroyer Of Obstacles
5. Quest For The Soul
6. The Dream Of Kojojash
7. A Dream That Omens Death

Review by Felix on February 18, 2024.

Darkestrah, well, I had read this name from time to time, but I never really took notice of the formation. A few days ago, I decided to lend an ear to Nomad, due to whatever reason. Now what can I say? This is certainly fascinating stuff. The band is located in Germany, but the music does not sound Teutonic in any way. No surprise, because its members were born in Iran and Kyrgyzstan. However, they have also implemented themselves a tiny piece of the German soul. Their broad and large-scale melodies and dramatic sequences breathe the Wagnerian spirit. Nomad delivers epic opulence in combination with authentic heaviness. Valkyries do not show up, but I would not be surprised if they did.

The quintet also features some Eastern influences. The promo calls them Central Asian melodies and who am I to know it better? But believe me, these elements do not prevail. First and foremost, this is a black metal output. Sometimes its material sounds to me like music Dimmu Borgir should have recorded after “In Sorte Diaboli” instead of getting lost in cheese. But don’t let us speak about broken ex-heroes. In its best moments, Nomad creates absolutely enchanting tones which reflect melancholy, despair, triumph or the inevitability of personal destiny. The title track, for instance, holds some linear, strict parts that flatten the crusted soil immediately, but there are also melodies that flirt with the listener in an irresistible manner. Unfortunately the vocals-dominated part which sets in after five minutes does not have the same overwhelming impact like the first five and the last two minutes. Anyway, this is a track that makes an enormous statement. By the way, there are four tracks with a length of eight minutes or more and all of them boast with substance, ideas and verve. This five-piece, that much is clear, does not lack courage, individuality or spiritual roots. And I must mention the band’s dedication. No doubt, it marks a massive factor on Nomad.

Speaking of massive things, I come to the production directly. Very picky people may call it slightly synthetic. Indeed, it is no raw mix, but the sound distinguishes itself by depth and balance. Despite the density that the instrumental section creates, the (not very) female yet absolutely fervent, variable and powerful vocals do not fall by the wayside. And even Skyclad's violin, which has apparently lost its way, is given its rightful place in the overall work, as are the jew's harps. Finally, the important interplay of keyboard carpets and furious guitars, supported by mighty drums, is also perfectly realized in the sound. Thus, we enjoy competently offered outbursts of overflowing emotions as well as wistful parts which touch the atmosphere of Sabbat’s criminally underrated farewell album “Mourning Has Broken”.

Of course, Darkestrah don't manage to square the circle either, but it's still worthy of honor how they create an absolutely homogeneous, almost monolithic album that doesn't do without fantastically placed breaks. Just listen to the one which occurs after 3:30 minutes in 'Quest For The Soul'. It gives the song an enticing new aroma without hurting its general atmosphere or flow. This is simply great and in view of all these superb details it almost hurts me to say that the five minutes called 'The Dream Of Kojojash' cannot compete with the majestic monuments. It doesn’t matter. Nomad is an excellent full-length and, from my point of view, a big surprise. With albums such as this the scene will never die and those who don’t like its musical content should ask themselves whether they are actually in the right place in this scene.

Rating: 8.7 out of 10