Narcissus Rising (A Metamorphosis in Three Acts)

The Negative Bias

THE NEGATIVE BIAS formed in Vienna, Austria during 2016. To date they have three releases […]
By Louise Brown
July 15, 2019
The Negative Bias - Narcissus Rising (A Metamorphosis in Three Acts) album cover

THE NEGATIVE BIAS formed in Vienna, Austria during 2016. To date they have three releases in their discography, including "Narcissus Rising (A Metamorphosis In Three Acts)" which was released this year.

If you're wondering about the two track listing rest assured you're not seeing things incorrectly. There are only two songs on the album. However, since both of them are around 20 minutes long you still get a lot of material for whatever you end up paying for the release. In all truthfulness I was not thrilled about reviewing this album because I have a personal problem with any songs that are longer than ten or twelve minutes. I understand that the Atmospheric/Ambient Black Metal genre plays by a different set of rules, and I do respect that. However, I've said it several times before and I'll say it again. Expecting even the most dedicated metalhead to sit down and listen to any song that is twenty minutes in length is asking an awful lot. Even most reviewers cringe at the thought. It's a pretty substantial chunk of time, especially in this day and age where most people simply can't spare that much time at all.

The first track, "Narcissus Rising," begins quietly. The energy becomes more aggressive as the music takes on a more distinctly "Metal" sound. The vocals range from anger to anguish as they commence. As the song's pace slows at about the five-minute mark a nice guitar-based interlude takes over for a moment or two. After the vocals resume they have a lower pitch, giving them a more sinister quality. The backing music becomes somewhat haunting as the singing becomes shriller in nature, sounding more like classic Black Metal. A full stop within the 21-minute long track comes as a surprise; most tracks of this length seldom contain such distinct breaks within them. Once the music starts again it is very eerie, filled with disembodied whispers and mutters. It reminds me of listening to Gollum as he sits alone in his cave beneath the Misty Mountains as he talks to himself alone in the darkness before Bilbo Baggins discovers him. As some excellent guitar riffs blend with the backing music the sound becomes more powerful, especially once the percussion starts. Again, the vocals are classic Black Metal in nature, creating a good level of tension while things progress. At this point in the song it is wise to remind yourself that this is all part of a mind journey, so try to curb your impatience if it's becoming an issue. (Advice I need to keep in mind myself as my attention threatens to wan!) I could give you an entire run-down of the track, but I think you get the idea. It's very long with many twists and turns along the way.

The second track, "Insomnic Sermons Of Narcistic Afterbirth (At The Threshold Where Chaos Turns Into Salvation)," has a traditional-sounding Black Metal intro with melodic overtones. There is a great deal of chaos and drama within the background music as it mixes with the ranting vocals. The vocals themselves range from shrieks to growls that become even more brutal as the song continues. The melodic influence becomes stronger when the track slows its pace and a great guitar solo takes over at the five-minute mark. The vocals become guttural, mixing at times with choir-like backing vocals. There is a lot of enjoyable guitar-playing throughout the first "chapter" of the song. Following a brief break the music becomes ghost-like and ethereal for a time before the vocals join in. A brief, yet lovely guitar solo stands out, making a nice contrast to the harsh-sounding singing. Much like the first track, this one has a few breaks in between chapters, giving the listener a much needed breather along the way. Again, I won't tell you every single detail of the track because that would be monotonous for me as well as you.

I can't say that this was a joy to review because it wasn't. I was glad when the album was over, I won't deny it. Does that mean I dislike it? No, not really. It's a far better album than some others I've reviewed in this particular genre. While I am not a fan of twenty-plus minute songs I realize there are some people out there who are. They're the reason I tried to be as fair as possible by forcing myself to really listen, even when I honestly didn't want to any longer. I would recommend this album to that select group of Metal fans because I believe they will honestly appreciate it. As for the rest of us, well.. try using it as background music. I am pretty sure if you played it during the right time of the year (Halloween) it could end up being something that you don't mind having in your own collection.

8 / 10









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"Narcissus Rising (A Metamorphosis in Three Acts)" Track-listing:
  1. Narcissus Rising
  2. Insomnic Sermons Of Narcistic Afterbirth (At The Threshold Where Chaos Turns Into Salvation)

The Negative Bias Lineup:

I.F.S. -  Vocals
Athtarion -  Guitars, bass
S.T. -  Bass, guitars
Florian Musil -  Drums

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