Egyptian Progressive Folk Metal is a relatively unique concept but the one thing Nathyr do well on their debut, As The Legacy Unveils, is weave epic tapestry’s that encompass culture, tradition, a diverse array of well-incorporated instruments not often associated with Metal and the time honoured tradition of riffing hard and fast!
Nile are an obvious comparison but the two actually share precious few similarities. Nathyr are – blatantly – authentically Egyptian (no offence to Nile), channeling the greatest civilisation of antiquity in a restless, ever-evolving mix of Arabic rhythms, Death Metal fury and Progressive Metal artistry. From a westernised perspective, imagine descending deep into an unexplored tomb, impenetrable darkness surrounds as insurmountable weight rests above your skull; just waiting for an opportunity to come crashing down, choking and suffocating with immeasurable force. A gloriously sensationalised metaphor perhaps but one that accurately describes the immense nature and genuine feel of As The Legacy Unveils.
On to the songs themselves, “The Lords Of Wargasm” is a blast of sandblasted malevolence. The sands of time seem to wash away as Nathyr immerse the listener in a cacophony of Death Metal growls and an Extreme Metal mentality, all siphoned through a Folk Metal sensibility creating something subversively unique and endlessly rewarding. “A Diabolical Cane” follows, opening with an eerie convergence of staccato riffing, abstract soloing and palpable atmospherics before descending into the deep dark recesses of blast-beat driven progressive Death Metal powered by formidable growls and low-end utterances.
Steeped in history, some songs such as “Mass Emancipation” and “The Malignant Blight” may lean a little more towards the traditional bombardment of Death Metal but each track comes infused with a Middle Eastern hook and captivates entirely. From the opening ominous percussion of “Attaghoot” to the gently soothing, yet strangely sinister beginning, of “Aeons Of Forays”, hackles are constantly raised awaiting the next unearthly sound and suppressive riff. It’s as if a fearsome power lies in wait around every corner but you’re compelled to continue your exploration nonetheless.
Defying genre classification, this ornately unique work demands a wider audience. As they incorporate centuries of history into their alchemic blend of (very) old and refreshingly new, the sheer breadth of ideas Nathyr plunder appears seemingly endless. Incredible. 9/10