The Ghost Collector
Pulverised Records 2008
Sweden, a land usually known for brutal and uncompromising black metal has spawned a somewhat more commercially appealing and accessible entity in the form of Jönköping's Netherbird. Melodies and symphonic synth passages abound on their debut full length album, The Ghost Collector. Dramatic passages with almost operatic movements unfurl gently, delicately within the flow of each song, such as the clean vampyric vocals on Carcass Symphony and melodies that impose themselves within the ears of the listener. The constantly shifting vocal styles give the impression of differing personalities or stage actors within this theatrical exercise. Adrift on the Sea of Misery is a darkened instrumental of classical piano instrumentation which adds to the theatrical flair of the album. Lighthouse Eternal begins with fetid death metal belches which collapse into female vocals only to explode into a a fervent onslaught of black metal shrieks a la Dani Filth. The song then slows for some smooth guitar leads. A funeral atmosphere pervades the opening of Blood Orchid before the song bursts at the seams with fast-paced black metal riffing. As with basically all the songs on The Ghost Collector the composition twists and turns through a myriad of differnt tempos and moods. Even with all the different angels of approach and sonic textures that Netherbird uses, it still seems somewhat forced bordering on something one might expect from latter day Ancient or even to a more serious degree, Cradle of Filth. The Ghost Collector, is well written in regards to its own stylistic trappings, however it seems so "over the top" and plastic. If theatrical black metal is your cup of tea then you could do much worse than Netherbird. However I find this style somewhat pretentious.