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Underground Sounds: Nishaiar – Igewanda

Label: Self-released
Band: Nishaiar
Origin: Ethiopia

One has to be skeptical when dealing with bands that claim to hail from strange realms such as Ethiopia. Not that its impossible, you’ll be hard pressed to find any confirming information on any metal bands in the African country with its rich history. Nishaiar claims to hail from there though and this is their next record, titled ‘Igewanda’.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to dispense with finding the truth (Ghost Bath anyone?) as any interview requests are unanswered by this group clearly embracing the mystique and astral wisdom they convey in every utterance. The band has released 3 full length releases and one EP this far, all with radiant, ascending black metal full of wonder and amazement. That, in itself, fascinates the listener enough.

After a tribal intro, we fall into the fullness of warm ambient and keys, that forms the bass of Nishaiar’s sound. Wind instruments and a lot of electronics bring experience to life on the title track, which is as subtle and slithering as the fog of an early morning. The guitars drop in with a crunch, solidly clasped in the droning sounds. At times the music feels almost inorganic, but a sonic stream with a drumming so rhythmic and concentrated on ‘Nayan’ seems almost to be computer-generated.

Nishaiar gives a new shape to what we call ambient black metal, with music that mostly just drifts along on the astral waves the band claims to ride. Densely atmospheric, the music captures the imagination with the tribal sounds on ‘Menigedi’. At times it is probably hard to really call this sound black metal, but the way Nishaiar immerses the listener in their feverish dream music is uncanny. An experience like no other in the current black metal landscape almost.