Review from Pitchline Webzine

August 19, 2014
From: Pitchline Webzine
Published: August 17, 2014
*Google translation of Spanish review

The eight o'clock; the thermometer twenty degrees and points. The muddy look and mood in socks, wander in the subway tunnels. Start a new day and head painfully did the work. Hot caffeinated and my fellow travelers overwhelms me breathless. However, a cold chill up my picks. The 'Sørbyen' effect, the second album from unique project of musician Steven Le Moan: Netra. 

An excursion in the depths of unhealthy cities; Giant iron, concrete and bricks. A gloomy, depressing and oppressive journey. 's not easy to classify the proposal of "one man band" French. His record label, Hypnotic Dirge Records, characterizes it as a band that sails between Jazz, Black Metal and Trip-Hop. Notable also add touches of Dark metal (Bethlehem in the last decade), DSBM and Electro. Steven Le Moan plays with styles, mixing influences, and lays bare the foundations of the most extreme metal. Black lovers more conventional metal it will fail: 

'Netra' is undoubtedly a work for more open minds. In the first part, and then the song "A Dance with the Asphalt" perfect blend of metal and Trip- Dark Hop by way of introduction, Netra take the time to develop a raw and cold environment. The contemplative "Sørbyen" is a perfect example. This harshness and coldness, is the very personal vision of a French artist who moved to Norway for professional reasons. Y 'Sørbyen', a diary of your stay. The album gives off a smell of nostalgia and sadness, boredom and discouragement we can experience in big cities in the winter. "Emlazh", the sixth track (one of my favorites), marks a change of course. The rawness gives way to an increasingly confusing structures. The influences of Trip-Hop did evolve much more Electro ("Strange Bliss at Dusk"), and touches of Dark metal ("To Kill for a Hug") give way to much more blackers dyes ("Concrete Ocean"). "Shall I Slay the Monkeys" with its Blast beats and shouts of Steven Le Moan: an obvious nod to the black art. 

The second album from Netra ('Mélancolie Urbaine', the debut was released in 2010) is a truly original, alternating violence and calm, songs structured and restless compositions complete work. journey is long: more than an hour before arriving at my place Work. Over an hour (seventy minutes to be exact) is the duration of 'Sørbyen'. A large album, but that nothing is boring. Netra got grab my attention, making my morning routine into an experience. The purists and elitists throw overboard this work. For my part, made ​​me want to drag my poor housing, loitering in the depths of a dark, cold city of northern Europe, and abandoning alcohol and the first to cross my path courtesan. 

Rating: 8.5/10
Reviewed by: Zorglub

Review from Volumes of Sin Webzine

March 15, 2014
From: Volumes of Sin Webzine
Published: March 15, 2014

Netra came from France but has moved to Norway sometime between the 2003 formation of his self-titled side project and now. His debut full-length album, Mélancolie Urbaine, caught some attention upon it's release in 2010 with the unheard of entwinement of depressive black metal with trip-hop features, but overall the record didn't cause a big of a stir in the underground as one may expect. A couple years later and Netra unleashed his follow up album, Sørbyen, via Hypnotic Dirge Records, the same label that his debut was issued under. Is Netra still attempting to push the boundaries of black metal or is this album something different entirely?

I'll be honest and say that I pushed this one back; way, way, way back. I was recently lucky enough to partner with Hypnotic Dirge Records and receive a generous physical promotional package (thank you!). As I was rifling through the CDs this one stuck out like the metaphorical sore thumb and my sleep laden mind wondered if it had been sent to me by mistake. A deeper look into the artist would unveil the genre concoctions this album consists of and needless to say it ended up on the bottom of the pile until I decided that today was the day I'd throw back my medicine like a big boy. You're probably asking yourself why I'm bothering with this introduction piece, well as I've said in past reviews bands, albums and art in general shouldn't be judged by their appearance and this is something that I personally keep doing. This album is a firm reminder that not all metal has to come with grim, dark, morbid artwork or be comprised of the standard cut and paste genre meshes. I almost wish that I'd thrown this CD in before all the others.

Netra's first album found the material edging on the the brink of something ground breaking, however it held off with understandable reluctance and merely tested the waters of combining two genre foes. Sørbyen has set out to go all in by interlocking electronica, trip-hop and atmospheric black metal elements together in a way that actually works. Of course this type of material isn't going to appeal to everyone, but it's an incredibly brave endeavor on the artist's part considering that the tougher crowds such as purists and elitists in the black metal community will scorn this album as an utter blasphemy to all the genre stands for.

The experience that Sørbyen provides is rather extraterrestrial in that it's completely foreign to anything that the metal loving, or perhaps even the trip-hop loving, audience has heard before. Senses become overwhelmed at the outstanding compositions and the brain seems to relax into a sleepy lull from the mellow grooves that some of the more electronic inspired songs have to offer. Where some tracks such as "Crawling" and "I Shall Slay the Monkey" are on the slower, darker side, others like "A Dance with the Asphalt" and "Kill for a Hug" combine both metal and electronic ingredients as they offer upbeat tempos with shrill black metal howls, spoken words, clean singing, high treble guitars, blast beat and double bass drumming; these two latter tracks are the ultimate testament at how successful the joining of the two dominate genres proves to be. The instrumental title track, "My Ill-Posed Life" and a variety of other instrumental only songs are composures that displays the aforesaid features without the need for vocals while adeptly showcasing the artist's ability to utilize both genres, bringing names such as Portishead and Nine Inch Nails to mind.

The material is laden in unexpected twists and turns, with some of the content being easy going while latter songs like "It's Kicking In", "Concrete Ocean", "Strange Bliss at Dusk" and "I Shall Slay the Monkeys" are brooding epic deranged soundtracks. There's a long and applaudable guitar solo found in "Streetlamp Obsession" that's followed up by placid bass solo. It's hard to put into words exactly how well the turn out of this content is, the synthesizers and natural elements blend seamlessly together to create one giant, unique atmosphere that has yet to be discovered by the majority of man. Hell, Netra even throws in some raw black metal in "I Shall Slay the Monkeys" where as the rest of the album is glossed in a rather high quality sheen.

It's indeed difficult to describe, but it works. Netra has achieved something incredibly profound with Sørbyen and he should be proud of his accomplishment of creating an entirely new structure in an all too cookie cutter genre. A little more rawness every now and then would push the material further, even when it comes to the trip-hop spectrum, and a few more uptempo tracks in the midst of the album would've helped shatter the way too relaxed mindset that the listener takes on. The content also feels a little heavy on the electronic side, a minuscule and subtle use of more natural elements would give the perfect amount of metal that the album is missing. It's really a must hear for yourself, words cannot describe this type of material adequately enough to do it justice.

Rating: 7.5/10
Reviewed by: Villi Thorne

Review from Deaf Sparrow Webzine

January 15, 2014
From: Deaf Sparrow Webzine
Published: January 14, 2014

Why the delay in the Sparrow reviews?  Are those guys a bunch of lazy punks around here or what?  Get with it.  In our defense, blame this album.  Sørbyen is one of the strangest things we’ve ever received, and that’s saying a ton because we’re used to it weird around here.  But Netra has crossed that line, about a million times in seventy minutes.  After his debut in 2010, he returned with this beautiful thing that combines so many genres we’re about to sound like foppish prick critics.  But, here goes, mix black metal with jazz, electronic, shoegaze, industrial, EBM, Goth, trip-hop, some ambient, and like fifty more genres to blow all other pompous prick critics out of the water, and you still won’t have the amount of “what in the…” that you’re going to find in Sørbyen.  But, unlike some releases of this nature we’ve seen over the past few years, Netra has created an album that encapsulates and finds an organic flow in spite of the sheer number of directions taken.  It’s not a perfect release, but it’s a ‘grower’ unlike any grower you’ve ever encountered.  Most growers you listen to once, twice, maybe a third time and then your brain reaches this strange realization where “eh, whatever, nothing else to listen to” becomes your mantra for the evening.  Sørbyen, however, as a grower doesn’t just grow, it becomes a mammontine giant sequoia, and its roots burrow deep into your emotional center and keep you there, forever.

There’s literally too much for us to go over in this one, so it’s probably best to take a sampling via the Bandcamp tracks above.  The amount of experimentation and boundary breaking in this album is amazing, but somehow, when it feels like it’s going to drop, it all makes sense.  It has a general sense of ‘depression’ lurking around each alteration in sound, with acoustics, blast beat anguish, piano, raw feedback, and basically everything else you could think of combined in this virulent looking paste that tastes delicious.  One of the great things about Sørbyen is you have absolutely no way of knowing, none, where Netra is going to go next with each song.  Every track is its own thing, but somehow all linked together, which in itself requires a bit of praise, because it’s not easy to do.  Hypnotic Dirge Records has been known for releasing the eclectic and odd, but this may be the most unique album in their release history, no joke, nope.  It requires a serious mind, and time, to figure it out, but once you do you should find it entirely enjoyable.

But this isn’t to say it’s not without some fault.  Sørbyen takes awhile to grow on you, specifically because there are several sections that sound downright blah at first listen, but once the general approach is grasped by the listener, which might take you three times to fully understand, all of these moments somehow come together.  However, it can be said that Netra has possibly done too much in his genre cramming with this release, so much that it might be completely inaccessible to most listeners.  We around here like being challenged, but sometimes there’s a certain level of accessibility that needs to be present as well, and it’s what makes a great artist spectacular.  However, Netra clearly has the ability to get there.  Sørbyen is a highly unique listen, not for the weakling nuub underground fan who just discovered Immortal last week.  Don’t go from that to this, you’re really not ready for it.  For those of you with more experience who want to hear something new with metal, by all means give it a shot, you’ll find it something you’ll recommend in the future, but with the same commentary we’ve presented above.

Rating: 4/5
Review by: Stanley Stepanic

Review from Forgotten Path Magazine; Issue 5

June 18, 2013
From: Forgotten Path Magazine; Issue 5
November 2013
Magazine Website

In my opinion, such music as presented in this CD of Netra is nothing more than a searching for worms in the butt. It is a quite easily understood tendency that it could be defined as a desire to create something new, not standard, original and extraordinary. Well, that’s great, but you have to be careful when you add on some Black Metal into a mix of genres. Especially when other components even aren’t connected to Metal at all.  “Sørbyen” is a hardly characterized work. Firstly, you have to know that the most of this 70-minutes-length album is made of something that would better have been labelled as Darkwave, Trip-Hop or Ambient. Just in some places the roughness of Black Metal connects the CD with the Metal stage. I think that such music is for a jar of whiskey and a thick smoke of a cigar, for relax and meditation. The author of the project, Steven le Moan, seems to be a man who tends to searching for ideas in various musical areas, he is a scientist. Although such concoctions don’t mean anything more than a fairy tale without end and a superficial snatching out - there isn’t absolutely anything that would go deeper into every plane, and to be more precise - there is great evidence that the creator has no competency in any of them. I don’t mean that the music itself is boring or bad - in some places I find the melodies to be really entertaining (such as “Wish She Could Vanish”, but I’d just like to recur that those contemporary pseudo-intellectuals and their searches seem to be just deplorable expressions of inadequacy of ultra-free art and too self-confident, and individualistic homo-sapiens.

Rating: 4/10
Reviewed by: Odium

Review from Sic Maggot Webzine

June 6, 2013
From: Sic Maggot Webzine
Published: June 5, 2013
Original Link
*Google translation of Czech review

Regarding recordings that we go to the review and not the artists with whom I have met in the past, mostly I do not have any exaggerated expectations. However, the more pleasant it is sometimes surprised when this one gets a good album, on which he would otherwise probably never gave a damn. From time to time, but it also happens to be the sort of thing occurs board that is not only good, but much better than good ... much better. And I'm really glad that today we have on the table just a matter, as in this case, from the first sight relatively inconspicuous počinu over time turned out to be absolutely phenomenal and very uncommon divisions on that one encounters every day. Consider it but from the very beginning ...

Netra is a French one-man project, underpinned by a certain musician Steven Le Moan , sometimes performing under the same name as the group itself, or Netra . The emergence of Netra is apparently dates back to 2003, followed by a demo and then the first album "Mélancolie Urbaine" in 2010. Then I heard so far unfortunately, but it's the experience of "Sørbyen" , which is the second album Netra , I'm going soon remedied, as this recording I literally swallowed. But before we get into the actual music site might cost a loss of words for clarification name that does not sound too French - Sørbyen is a suburb of Norway Gjøvik, where Steven Le Moan some time resided. And if it inspired the local climate record so fantastic board, then it is from the perspective of the audience just as well that there was ...

At first glance, the music Netra interesting in that it combines the genres together that at first glance do not have much in common, but in the end this is done in a completely natural and organic form. "Sørbyen" falls somewhere on the border styles as depressive black metal, trip-hop, jazz or ambient, but doing it in such a way that it is in fact the present all genres far beyond and they involve more or less only in terms of the formal side of things. If we take the example mentioned depressive black metal, and with him the "Sørbyen" common in fact just one of those frosty raw guitar sound in riffových passages, as in the atmosphere, however, is a vastly different matter, because the music Netra not downright depressing (which would I personally did not claim not even the most depressive black metal, but it does not belong here now), more like a gloomy, cheerless, and to some extent maybe even melancholy, but a slightly different way than what you under this word primarily about introducing yourself. But just an atmosphere that is "Sørbyen" without exaggeration unique and is one of the most important elements of music, we have to pay, so back to the genres. A little closer to "Sørbyen" to the other trip-hop, but even that does not remain just mentioned jazz and some moments of his influences are added nepřeslechnutelně indeed, sometimes to the events speak to the rock guitar, this will sound electronic substrate. Surely you will agree with me but that rather than similar dissection of what a genre is where the hearings, for us to be much more important fact that even on this seemingly incongruous cocktail works absolutely brilliantly and organically, as if those styles always belonged together. Netra passes between them without blinking an eye, but always smoothly and effortlessly.

Already mentioned was the atmosphere, and as I dared to suggest it is the atmosphere without exaggeration phenomenal. "Sørbyen" breathes quite special mood that seemed in itself mixed atmosphere of the city shrouded in mist in the early morning, the atmosphere of melancholy, depression, fatigue and the boredom of today's world, claustrophobia of ubíjejícího stereotype everyday life, but a bit of decadence or surrealism. That it again looks like a motley mix of everything and nothing really? Probably yes, but only until the tape man let go and convince with that in the grooves disk hides atmosphere that all of these emotions includes, but is still quite compact and especially - and that's what was going on above all - incredibly deep, strong and bewitching. I'm not even entirely sure if everything I listed, there are in fact objectively really is, as with every listen here I feel a bit of something a little different, once there is a little more decadence, and the next day again the melancholy of times according to the current state of mind or even weather windows. Maybe someone will hear something else, and after what I as perceived by me, there'd be no sign, however, if this conjecture in the final result, then you will find that it is actually something quite amazing and something like that can really hardly any music. One can, however I can tell you exactly and absolutely sure - whether I am one or the other day perceive "Sørbyen" one way or another, it was always a compelling experience that was - and in fact every time still is - so strong that me and after approximately month, basically every day (!) listening still not passed the taste to the plate zahloubávat again and again.

As individual songs, here I guess I'll have to pull something on such a unique board completely wrong, namely recenzentské cliché that the album is not a weak song, but can not help the entire area equal to 70 minutes hear any shortcomings. The exception was initially short "My Ill-Posed Life" , in which I feel a little not sitting solo guitar, but it was some sort of brother 10 seconds, in comparison with the remaining 70 minutes, almost brilliant musical experience was like nothing. However, even on that song I after some time without any problems getting accustomed, making it in my ears "Sørbyen" got into a position where I'm not afraid to talk about in essence, a perfect musical gem, which you hardly find his equal. Although I had hitherto explicitly mentioned, maybe it was the previous lines showed spontaneously - although this is a property on which nowadays come across really badly, Netra produces music that is in my humble opinion, really original. That I would say purely on the basis of empirical experience, when I was in my life could listen definitely a four-digit number of albums (the first digit is definitely not one) many different styles and genres, but still I can not in memory recall something that would be in terms of total concept of approaching music, which is to be heard on "Sørbyen" .

Here we have yet again a little departed from the very specific songs, which I had in my original intention to pay really wanted to, because it is on the board poschovávané lots and lots of breathtaking moments that is asking to make them someone pointed and said, that is exactly how it sounds when you're not playing great music. As a result, there is of course a huge number, I do not know what I should say first and what not mention because all pretty good name is not as well vypíchnutím only some would actually automatically minimizing the importance of the others, which in my view are not any worse. I was purely about themselves songs written by four other large paragraphs of text when I found out that I was only somewhere in the middle plate and that just simply designate each composition into one and none of them generously barrage of superlatives. That would mean it was probably boring reading, because it let me leave and instead just repeat that the "Sørbyen" is actually not a single second wrong. And I mean seriously ...

It all sounds too perfect? I acknowledge that I suppose, but when you look down to the final evaluation will help you finally realize that I would none of it did not write, if I was not convinced. Although I did myself at first did not want to believe, "Sørbyen" really is so good, and if I did not give 10/10 this record as an illustration of how much overcome me, then I have no idea what else I should. Quite honestly say that this album I was incredibly eaten into its atmosphere me engulfed in a way that I've been a long time with no other recordings experienced. In my view, it is the highest rating, what can not be granted, entirely adequate. Maybe me some disagree, because it is not a matter which influenced the events on the music scene (indeed, if it were to happen, it would happen - "Sørbyen" is released in September of last year), but it I do not care, because the music Netra for me to fulfill the definition of perfect music, which to me is much more important, and to me that much closer. It still would be some what wide recognition for so introverted matters not suit, because it is the music literally for connoisseurs with an open mind. Who it does have one certainly understand why, in the case of the Netra rating 10/10 on the spot.

Rating: 10/10
Reviewed by: Monsterfuck

Review from Metalwave

May 8, 2013
May 8, 2013
Original Link
*Google translation of Italian review

I probably will not be suitable for listening to a kind of sin, and so I might be in the eyes of those who do not know me as a person "anti-modern", "anti-experimentation." "Frankly I do not care!" Rheet Butler would say really but if you give a listen to this "Sorbyen" the multi-instrumentalist French Netra might agree with myself that as not all foods can be mixed is not always possible to mix material that does not guesses with nothing else material light years away and conceptually imbued with a completely different substance. Pena? A cut and paste hateful in which one of the two genres ends up being literally ruined the other. 
Netra then what does this sound? That is what he would like to propose in this second effort over a long distance? Black Metal (in its meaning "depressive") mixed with ... Trip Hop. 
Could I close here the whole sipping mentally the reaction of the facial muscles of many readers but a minimum wage is just write it. 

Firstly, what's the link to the Black Metal Trip Hop? The only thing that comes to my mind-and I do not speak of style-is related to the production, ie the quality purely lo-fi (if you go to listen to "Dummy" or Portishead's "Blue Lines" by Massive Attack understand). This could at least be in his favor but then we encounter something not removable: the style. The two things have a quid so far that it can not be mixed in a suitable manner, and do not tell me about experimentation and music elite! 

Our friend almost always uses the same sounds and is convinced that in order to build sufficient Trip Hop of a drum machine on some pace around 80-90 bpm, use midi bass and a sad emulator Fender Rhodes sound from more than fake and phrasing rather pathetic. 
If the whole "Sorbyen" was a disc Trip Hop mediocre at least it would have been consistent but what really disgusting in here? Unfortunately, the frequent incursions of Black Metal mold standard and poor quality that break often during the final few songs such as "Emlazh" ruined forever towards the end and "It's Kicking into" that could have been pleasant even without that hateful distorted guitar at the end of the piece. 

So gentlemen, "Sorbyen" can be defined only with the word "ugly" in its most physical of the term as well as excessively long duration (more than one hour and ten!). It is hardly an album I consider it rather brave and reckless in bad taste that is not the result of a choice convivido for both Black Metal and for the same Trip Hop, an already contaminated by thousands of his styles that I do not think he needed to be ruined by a sub-genre of heavy metal akin to nothing. 
I was deeply disappointed but to each his own. One of his audience, even if I do not know how it is possible, I will also have this Netra.

Rating: 48/100

Review from Melting Album Reviews

May 8, 2013
From: Melting Album Reviews
Published: May 7, 2013
Original Link

In an increasingly vast world of music, it’s safe to say Netra aren’t just another band. In fact, their music is quite unlike anything I’ve had the pleasure of hearing before. Combining influences of black metal and jazz with an eerie trip hop vibe, Netra’s latest album Sørbyen is all compiled by one man. However, this is no ordinary man. This is a man, who in his darkest times began to create music to battle his demons and cure his boredom of city life. He is the creative force behind Netra’s music and his talents and ambitions shine throughout the bands’s sophomore album, Sørbyen

Throughout the journey that is Sørbyen, you never really know what to expect. Just when you think you have the music figured out, you discover you are gravely mistaken. Whether it be the trademark black metal screams of ‘Concrete Ocean’ or the hauntingly beautiful title track, Sørbyen has a surprise waiting around every corner. At first, the thought of mixing a genre like trip hop with black metal seemed unusual to me, but the mysterious man behind Netra is able to pull it off. Perhaps it’s how subtly he is able to mix such different genres without sounding awkward, or maybe it’s just the fact that he’s really fucking good. Even the guitar work exceeds expectations. ‘It’s Kicking In’ starts out as a stoner jam, with strange whispers and trip hop beats before bringing in some funky guitar solos. Other songs have heavy guitars right from the get go, like ‘Strange Bliss at Dusk’ which starts out sounding like a metal song before turning into a schizophrenic ride through indescribable sounds.

Sørbyen is a well-constructed album, there’s no doubt about that. The only real drawback is that certain songs will likely be harder to digest for the less daring listener. ‘I Shall Slay the Monkeys’ contains some of the most intense vocals on the album, but some may find it hard to get past the claustrophobic nature that protrudes throughout its runtime. However, the title track is a prime example of Netra’s ability to create a truly beautiful track. Without the help of any vocals, the song flows incredibly smoothly as it slowly builds an atmospheric background to make room for muddy, but slightly melodic guitars. Not only does this verify the talent behind Netra, but it proves the unpredictability of Sørbyen. Sometimes it’s beautiful, others it’s downright strange, but it’s always exciting. Those looking for something a little different will find a lot to enjoy in this release. After all, Netra aren’t just another band.

Rating: 4.2/5
Reviewed by: atari85


Review from Crown of Viserys

April 11, 2013
From: Crown of Viserys
Published: April 3, 2013
Original Link

Netra originally hailed from Kemper, France, and from that base of operations released a pair of demos that caught Nick Skog’s attention. Skog contacted Netra and released the debut album, Mélancolie Urbaine in late 2010 on his label Hypnotic Dirge Records. Since then, Netra has moved from France to Norway, and in mid-2012 the follow-up to Mélancolie Urbaine was released, Sørbyen.

Once again the beautiful structures of jazz and trip-hop that Netra creates are blended with intensely thought out black metal; genres that (until Mélancolie Urbaine was released) I never thought would exist together. There is a depressing quality to the music, sadness and a longing for something better, and it is portrayed through genuinely soul-filled instrumentation and vocals that feel like they belong to the music, and are born from it.

With Sørbyen there is less black metal than the previous album, but truthfully it is not missed at all, as the trip-hop, house elements, and just plain rock make up for any lack of metallic headbanging. This ensures that when the black metal hits, it hits hard.

There is an immense amount of growth with Netra on Sørbyen, as a songwriter and it seems as a person. I can’t wait to hear what Netra will be releasing next, and until then I’ll be playing this often.

Rating: 7/10


Review from Necromance Webzine

March 29, 2013
From: Necromance Webzine
Published: March 28, 2013
*Google translation of Spanish review
If anything stands Hypnotic Dirge Records seal is in its eagerness to edit jobs with very different styles bands or unusual proof, again, is this edition of netra , one band member who comes from French soil and with this "Sorbyen" take your 2nd job. This is a work that, over the 12 tracks, does not hesitate to combine styles like Black Metal, jazz, electronic music, sounds depressive, ... all to create a trance and despair and this is achieved by combining voice recordings highlighting clean vocals, others dying, torn black voices ... and we add an instrumentation which highlights cutting dark melodies, synthesizers creating that atmosphere dense and cold passages where jazz rhythms intersect with bursts of black metal riffs and parts where the rhythm section is presented in a heavy sound ... and then moments where the sound becomes very electronic and dance cut! ... all to create compositions bleak and dark metal cutting. It is clear that this is a very slow work of assimilation and intended for a small group of fans.

Rating: 3/5
Reviewed by: David Déniz 

Review from

March 24, 2013
Published: March 22, 2013
Original Link

One man bands from France seems to be the thing I have these days, just the other day it was Deathronic and now it is Netra. I think though that the similarities end there as Deathronic is a lot more conventional and Netra is nowadays Norwegian as the man behind it has moved to Norway and I suppose we can say hence the name of the second album. I would have to say that cover artworks is not something that is the thing of this man, both albums looks quite dull on the outside but when reading the info about the band you get a sense that there is much more excitement there than first meets the eye. “With influences ranging from the moodiest jazz music to black metal and trip-hop, netra has always been about challenging the listener's open-mindedness.” That is what you can read about this one man band when it is being sold by their underground label Hypnotic Dirge Records which is a Canadian label that you just have to love the name of. But what do I think about this album then? it does seem exciting at first glance (or second at least).
Well, musically it is a melting pot of different influences and musical styles, that much is correct from the description and trying to make a description that anyone can make heads or tales from is just pointless as the complexity of it is too difficult to describe in words. The mood is about “these horrible feelings, this underlying depression and boredom of city life” and that is more or less what you feel when listening to this album. The different musical elements all unite to convey this feeling and it is put together in such a way that it never feels incoherent or anything like that, and just that alone must be said to be an impressive feat. That is not all however, the production is quite strong with a good sound and it blends together all those many seemingly incompatible elements into one strong unit, there is a bit of underground in the sound though but not so much that it is really a problem for the songs or the album. Need I say that the variation of the album is quite large? I think you understood that and the album is a story in twelve chapters that plays for just over seventy minutes and seventy minutes is quite long in most albums but not so for this album.

I have to say that albums like this is why I endure all those crappy or generic or dull albums that can almost ruin one's day, albums like this that breaks off from convention and makes you sit up and take notice. I don’t think it rivals the absolute best albums of the year, there are some things that prevents that but it is still that sense of ideas and of thought that I think is so important in art. It is just that much more fun when someone threads down paths no one else wants to go, I wish more music did so I have to commend Netra for the exciting musical journey I have been granted with this album that quite well describes how I feel about city life. Fortunately I do not live in a city so I don’t have to endure that, but if I had this album would have been a good way to close myself in a bubble against that boring life outside this bubble. I should explain the reason for not saying this is amongst the absolute best while still praising it, and that is because I think the black metal parts are not that good and especially the growling thing sounds just bad to me but that is really the only thing that I don’t like with this album, even the extremely long playing time works for me in this album.

A word of caution is needed though as I must point out that this is an album that requires a listener that cares about listening to music and cares about music so all you silly people that bury your nose in the smartphone and just walk around having some music on in the background can forget about this album immediately as it needs you to really listen in order to unlock its greatness. In most regards a brilliant album where I think Wish She Could Vanish is my favourite song but I really like this album as it is something you don’t hear every day and as a seasoned reviewer I like that kind of thing. So if you are open minded and likes exciting music that doesn’t follow the established rules then you should really have a look at this album as it is great.

Rating: 5/7
Reviewed by: Daniel Källmalm


                       NETRA - SØRBYEN 

Released: September 29, 2012
1000 Copies
Alternative Black Metal/Trip-hop