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Netherbird - "Ghost Collector" (CD)

Netherbird - "Ghost Collector" CD cover image

"Ghost Collector" track listing:

1. Dead Grid Incantation (1:23)
2. The Blackest Breed (3:51)
3. Carcass Symphony (5:29)
4. A Drift on the Sea of Misery (2:37)
5. Lighthouse Eternal (Laterna Magika) (4:42)
6. Hidden Beneath Flesh Pest Ridden (1:00)
7. The Beauty of Bones (4:03)
8. Forever Mournful (4:53)
9. A Drift Forwards Eternity (2:01)
10. Blood Orchid (6:50)
11. Ashen Nectar (7:58)
12. Boulevard Black (14:06)
13. Boulevard Black (reprise) (3:42)

Reviewed by on November 10, 2009

"There are sections of this album that are brilliantly written, combining darkness and beauty adeptly. Unfortunately, there are far too many parts that fall very flat. "

Similar in style to bands like Graveworm, Fairytale Abuse, and Illnath, Netherbird’s “Ghost Collector” is an amalgamation of symphonic/gothic metal and black metal, with hints of melodic death metal. With tremolo riffs and synth sections, the music fits the genre well. Unfortunately, this album seriously loses power in the middle, bringing it from good to lackluster.

“Ghost Collector” starts out very strong. The riffing is very well written and contains some very beautifully played melodic work that is different, yet very fitting. “Carcass Symphony” and “The Blackest Breed” are stand outs on the album, as well as “Lighthouse Eternal (Laterna Magika),” which has some very catchy parts.

The album contains some real gems in relation to sections of music. The scattered acoustic guitar work ("The Beauty of Bones," "Carcass Symphony") is well placed and beautiful, adding mounds of atmosphere to the music. The high vocals can get a little annoying at times, but are fitting. The backing vocals are much better done, though they tend to lose power at times. The few solos on the album are adroitly done as well.

Unfortunately, by the time the album hits “Forever Mournful,” it has lost a ton of momentum. It almost seems like the band wasn’t sure where to go, so they just kept plodding forth with a very mundane mix of gothic and black metal. The songs all have a mid tempo pace that is just far too slow most of the time. “Boulevard Black,” apparently the band’s anthem, is a 14-minute failure. Far from being epic, the song’s elements (slow in the beginning, faster in the middle, with a slow down at the end) do not blend together well at all. The last song, “Boulevard Black (reprise),” is a mediocre attempt at a dark piano piece.

Netherbird has a lot of potential. There are sections of this album that are brilliantly written, combining darkness and beauty adeptly. Unfortunately, there are far too many parts that fall very flat. I would say get this album just for those tracks that stand out, but there aren’t nearly enough of them to be worth it.

Highs: The stand out tracks are worth a good listen, well done melodic riffs

Lows: Loses power halfway through, fizzles out.

Bottom line: An album that starts out powerful, but fails to bring it all together.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)