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Nera Nature - 'Disorders' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c9/56/ee/nera-56-1403034127.jpg Hot

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This is another sterling entry in the Nera Nature catalogue and they continue to maintain a special place where I am concerned

It's a well documented fact that I am a huge fan of Nera Nature. This Polish Atmospheric/Ambient Metal four-piece formed originally in 2009 and is presently made up of Agnieszka "Nera" Gorecka (vocals), Marek Tkocz (bass), Pawel Nowak (drums) and Piotr Nowak (keyboards). Gorecka, Tkocz and Nowak are also members of Polish Black Metal band Darzamat and you probably won't get two more opposing styles from the same musicians anywhere else.

Their sensational debut 'Foresting Wounds' was one of the earlier albums I reviewed for Fireworks and due to the title I expected it to be some form of aggressive Modern Metal when it arrived. I was completely blown away by the enchanting and emotional music that I found in its place. I adored the album for its uniqueness, beautiful vocals and infectious tunes from the first play and it has remained a favourite ever since (in an all-time sense). Therefore I was obviously desperate to hear more music from the delightful Nera and her band and finally it's here.

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Like 'Foresting...', 'Disorders' retains the simplicity of its predecessor and the central focus of the music is once again on the gorgeous vocals of Nera herself. The album opens with 'Twisted' with its wistful, wave like piano with modern backing sounds and a slight effect on Nera's vocals. Suddenly the guitar bursts in with a thick chunky riff that flows into a punchy progression and vocals before that wailed chorus returns; it's certainly an attention grabber. This is followed by the dreamy single 'Drifting' which is one of my favourites of the eight tracks on offer. It starts with strummed guitar before a verse where Nera's vocals waft effortlessly over the soft strummed notes (which turn to a grumble here and there) to a charming chorus with vocals that are even more luxurious.

'In Contrast To' has eighties synth, pleasant pinging piano and strong vocals from Nera in its verse. The chorus has a more ominous air about it that is delivered by the fat churning guitar and when all three combine (piano, guitar and vocals) it creates a simple but highly effective musical crescendo. Another of my favourites is 'The Clue' which sees tranquil vocals, humming synth and a slower paced beat in the verses. The guitar ramps up in the chorus with a nice Metallic, echoed chiming guitar effect with Nera adding more velocity to her voice to match the increased power of the guitar.

'I Play' sees Nera taking a softer, less intense approach in the verses as the guitar whines and groans behind, as the chorus approaches the axe work reverts to a fuller grind but still intermixes with some high pitched notes. Another album highlight for me is 'Reverse' with its nice, revolving techno synth and frothing guitar which includes an enjoyable rise and fall scale. As the chorus approaches each time, Nera shows off her abilities by holding several long notes; there's also a reverb effect solo as well.

Some of the heaviest guitar work is probably found in the intense 'Hesitation'; it starts quite calmly with Nera's voice front and centre backed by just keys and rhythm. The guitar erupts as the verse progresses and runs into the chorus with a thumping deep riff, all the while Nera's vocals float effortlessly over the more intense musical side. It also features a rather Funky synth guitar breakdown in the bridge. The album closes with 'Mistaken' which is probably my least favourite song on 'Disorders' but that is only due to the reverb-full modern effects on the song that appears sporadically and was a bit of a distraction. That aside, the song has plenty of lovely 1980's synth, tinkering piano, sensual guitar and vocals that are varied; lush and full at times but hushed and more distant at others.

'Disorder' is equal in terms of quality to 'Foresting...' but at a push I would say I still prefer the debut out of the two but that is much to do with the "surprise" factor of the original; I obviously knew what to expect here. There are a few standouts but, as before, each of the songs has something to offer. Nera once again turns in a superb vocal performance and she remains one of my favourite female vocalists; with abilities such as hers, it's a travesty she isn't better know. The rest of the band should be complimented for providing such a quality back drop and foundation for their leading lady. The only real complaint I have about this album is its length. At twenty-nine minutes, this is a rather short album compared to Nera's contemporaries; it's something that fans will have to weigh up for themselves. I have seen Nera mention that one of the things they wanted was for the songs to be ascetic and simplified and this obviously resulted in the short album length. This is another sterling entry in the Nera Nature catalogue and they continue to maintain a special place where I am concerned.

Dave Scott

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