Review 2142 : Darkestrah – Nomad – English

Darkestrah is on the move again.

Formed in 1999 in Kyrgyzstan, then relocated to Germany, the band is led by Asbath (drums/percussion/temir komuz, Nashmeh), Resurgemus (guitar/keyboards), Cerritus (bass/percussion/temir komuz, Burnt Offering), Magus (tanbur/divan/cuatro/azeri tar, Mogh, Nashmeh, Tears of Fire, Beaten Victoriouses) and Charuk (vocals/percussion, Mogh, Nashmeh, Tears of Fire, Beaten Victoriouses) signed to Osmose Productions in 2024 to unveil Nomad, their seventh album.

On the instrumental Journey Through Blue Nothingness, the five musicians introduce us to their world of oriental sounds and diphonic vocals, reminiscent of their distant lands, before adding majestic saturation on Kök-Oy. The haunting Pagan/Black Metal influences give this ritual a special flavor before adding tortured howls, followed by much more rousing vocals that literally take us away from our homeland, while remaining anchored in the style’s raw roots, before taking a more Old School yet joyful approach on Nomad. The bewitching folk instruments and motivating patterns create a real contrast with the aggressive riffs, but the mix remains very coherent, taking us from one mood to another in no time with the help of the vocalist, then Destroyer of Obstacles will darken the picture by adding its atmospheric touch. A few orchestrations give this track a more theatrical dimension, but without permanently softening it, letting melancholy seep into the charge before leaving it when Quest for the Soul takes over, guiding us across these desolate plains, haunted by cries of despair. The lament is long, but it makes us hold our breath constantly, so much so that we confuse the perception of time, and believe it to be over in just a few moments when it sinks into silence, allowing The Dream of Kojojash and its few mystical percussions to breathe life back into the impressive sonorities. The track is much slower and much heavier, almost tugging at Doom Metal but allowing for a few new elements and visceral screams before A Dream That Omens Death closes the ritual in the same way it began.

I’m accustomed to the Western sounds of Black Metal, but Darkestrah‘s shamanic approach fascinated and bewildered me in equal measure. Nomad is a true musical and spiritual experience, blending two worlds that are at odds with each other, but which come together beautifully.


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