Fireworks

Naryan - 'Black Letters' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     January 25, 2018    
 
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This album is one that never quite reaches top gear and would rather spend its time languishing in second or third.

Finland's Naryan describe their music as being atmospheric and melancholic, and following a cursory run through of this, their second album, I wouldn't disagree with that assessment, but further plays have thrown up more than just those attributes. Here is a band that can mix Classical with the more traditional Rock sounds. There's not a lot on this album of what I would call out and out Rock/Metal, but rather hints at Gothic and also Ethereal musings.

Utilising instrumentation that boasts both violin and flute alongside a mixture of male and female vocals, this album, although tight, never really ascends to the heights that it occasionally threatens to do.

The opening title track starts off slowly and does eventually break out into something that I was expecting, with guitar and violin trading blows, and that is the trend pretty much throughout. This isn't a bad album by any means, but with the array of instruments at their disposal, I was just expecting a lot more. It all comes across as slightly one dimensional and, at times, a little laboured.

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Despite that, there are some highlights which includes the quite beautiful and delicate 'I Promise You' where the male/female vocal interplay works really well. The following track, 'In Silence', treads the same path but seemingly without the conviction of the former.

'Misery', now there's a title that is perfect for these guys, does at least open out and Rock somewhat with some tasteful guitar work towards the end – a pity there was not more of this. 'Sleeping Beauty' is another song cut from the same cloth as 'Misery' and could be seen as a missed opportunity as the guitar work is sparingly used.
The best track on the record is left to the very end; '764' is the sort of thing that the band really need to be doing more of, a song that builds with a sense of purpose rather than meandering and showcases what the band could be capable of – a neat mixture of Classical and Rock.

This album is one that never quite reaches top gear and would rather spend its time languishing in second or third, which is a bit of a shame as there is most definitely potential there. According to the band, a third release is in the works and my interest is sufficiently piqued to give these guys another chance.

Malcolm Smith

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