I have always personally said that Russia is home to some of the most beautifully haunting atmospheric, symphonic, melodic and dark metal in the world and this release by Nebula Orionis is no short of all of this summed up. Self released on the first of this month through Bandcamp, Plague has already captured the attention of many. As one of the three full lengths released this year by Nebula Orionis, this one is probably his best work to date. The solo work of the mysterious M42 can only be described as a beautiful blend of atmospheric black metal, blackgaze, synthwave and cinematic cyber sci-fi post metal.
Through each track, there is only haunting melodies dancing around chilling guitar riffs and hypnotic drum patterns. The piano and synth work are what stand as the mainframe to this project. There are no vocals, just dark, melancholic instrumentals. Tracks like the epic “What Have We Done” and the catchy “Modern Conjuring” are prime examples of the difference in emotions and moods this release can bestow upon the listener. Now per say, this album is not the usual sense of the terms of “black metal” but the music does seem to draw influence and present black metal style parts when appropriate. There are many parts of this album that have trance, electronic and atmospheric synth elements which bring a breath of fresh air to the usual understandings of what we think metal is.
When it comes to metal music, there is no definite definition of what is metal. This album is perfect for any metal fan to the electronic music fan. There is a captivating essence to Plague that not many musicians out there have brought to us as of late. With that said, this album is beautiful, epic, haunting, captivating, trance inducing and heavy all at the same time. This album is light years away from his debut 2013 EP Glacie which was more ambient black metal and featured distant screams but lacked the production value the latter releases received. I also believe the lack of vocals now add to the beauty of the album as you can hear all the elements together and truly feel the music. If you like experimenting with new music and changing it up from the usual, then this album and this band altogether are for you.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen