Album Review: Nattehimmel - Mourningstar
Reviewed by Richard Oliver
'Mourningstar' is the debut album from Nattehimmel which is the new band featuring Botteri twins (Christopher Botteri on bass and Christian Botteri on guitars) who were the creative force behind the legendary In The Woods… from 1991 - 2016 as well as being a part of the similarly revered Green Carnation. Nattehimmel also sees the Botteri twins working again with vocalist and keyboard player James Fogarty who was also a member of In The Woods.. Between 2015 and 2021. Making up the rest of the band is Daniel Carter on guitars and Sven Rothe on the drums.
With the Botteri twins on board, there are bound to be some nods to In The Woods… in the sound and style of the music and this is certainly true though Nattehimmel harks back to the band's earlier albums such as 'Heart Of The Ages' and 'Omnio' and there is a very prevalent 90’s black metal feel to the album from the riffing style to the retro keyboard sounds.
There are also plenty of prog leanings and doom laden moments throughout the album with a great degree of melody and atmosphere carrying forth these songs such as the epic yet doom-laden ‘Armies Of Tiamat’ and ‘Mountain Of The Northern Kings’ to the majestic blackened fury of ‘The Immortals’. Although 90’s black metal is the backbone to this band's sound there is so much more going on here with varying soundscapes and a dark yet cinematic scale to the music. The vocals from James Fogarty range from blackened shrieks to emotive cleans with most songs having a healthy balance of both the harsh and clean vocals.
There is a lot of unpack across the albums near 45 minute duration and 'Mourningstar' is not an album that can be processed in one sitting. From the old school black metal influences to the progressive and doom influences as well as the epic Norwegian metal sound that brings to mind bands such as Borknagar and Enslaved, there is plenty going on and an album that peels away its layers on each consecutive listen. If you are a fan of bands such as Arcturus, Windir, Ved Buens Ende and other previously mentioned bands then this album will be right up your street. 'Mourningstar' is a gorgeous majestic mix of black, prog and doom which is dark in feel and epic in nature.