Upon viewing the largely bespectacled, Swiss hipsters of NevBorn, I felt confident that I was on my way towards yet another “post black metal” experience. Since I and Archaic Triad, in complete defiance of click-bait common-sense, usually don’t bother with writing negative reviews, this could have been the end of it. Onward to the next promo. Reading up on the band, I realized that this lot had indeed been described as post metal and post hardcore, but not post black metal. So, what the hell: why not give this a chance? Got no mental investment in the hardcore scene, or really the “metal” scene in general, and you people can postify that all you like.
Daidalos is an EP containing one lengthy track, and clever readers may perhaps divine the title of that track. “Daidalos” lasts for 19 minutes, and sports a brilliant thematic concept and a fairly unique sound. The idea behind the lyrics is to recreate a conversation between Ikaros of too-close-to-the-sun fame, and his unjustly less famous and less arrogant father Daidalos. The chat takes place in the labyrinth inside which the two according to some sources were placed by King Minos after Theseus slew the Minotaur and made off with the good monarch’s daughter. Great stuff, really, and it is refreshing beyond all bounds to see lyrics in accessible, hard music that don’t dwell endlessly on the largely uninteresting topic of the lyricists feelings and self-image.
The music floats comfortably in the post-hardcore/post-metal sphere, distorted guitars and drums steadily beating the path for the melancholic melodies. The vocals are clean, sometimes crossing over into screaming. Ample softer breaks and great sounding bass lines contribute to a diverse listening experience, and the nineteen minutes fly by. As for the atmosphere of the song, there are two separate but intertwined interpretations. Asshole me would say that much of this sounds like music that would play during some low point in a 90’s teen movie – the protagonist walking with tear drenched eyes down a deserted street in the rain. Un-asshole me (to the extent that this person actually exists) would instead admit that Daidalos would work equally well, or perhaps better, playing in my earplug headphones on a train going home from some pleasant trip, enhancing the slight melancholy of the moment. It should probably still rain, though.
The format of using one massive track is not only cool, but also brave, given that such choices could possibly reduce the band’s commercial potential. It also indicates that NevBorn have some balls, and aren’t just doing what they do for fame and fortune. Such could still be theirs though, since I imagine there are quite a few people who would enjoy this. As do I, by the way, though various ramblings may obscure that fact. Daidalos is a clever, emotional and at times quite aggressive piece of music that is sure to win the band a whole bunch of fans. It will be released on September the 29th, and then be available from Czar Shop, and a bunch of other well-stocked distributors.