Darkestrah – Nomad

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Darkestrah is a pagan black metal outfit whose members originate from Kyrgyzstan and Iran now based in Germany; the band was established in 1999 and remained hidden in the underground scene for decades. Darkestrah released six studio albums, but what started as a black metal band has evolved into a high-quality standard that adheres to the second wave of black metal. Their lyrics span a wide range of topics about shamanism, paganism, and Turkish history with folk elements embedded into their structured sound. The seventh album “Nomad” is due on March 29th, 2024, and will be released through Osmose Productions.

The quintet is led by Asbath (drums, percussion, programming, and samples), Resurgemus (guitars and keyboards), Cerritus (bass guitars and shaman drums), Magus (tanbur, divan, cuatro, Azeri tar), and Charuk (vocals and percussion). However, there is one fascinating and unique atmosphere that surrounds these seven epic songs, where the different sounds of ethnic instruments can entrance the listener.

The songwriting and composition provided by the quintet weave together beautiful keyboard passages, strings, bizarre instruments, and raw Necro black metal riffs. The elegance of the music and the cadence require your attention because this is a synth-driven epic black metal album, the symphonic elements are beautifully crafted to capture dark melancholy.

After the ritualistic intro “Journey Through Blue Nothingness” which maintains the traditional folk sound of the central Asian tribes, the strings create a moving canvas of ancient temples with valleys covered in snow. The over-shamanic influences are utilized to fit into the theme of the music, which provides an epic experience in the following track “Kök-Oy”. The raw tremolos and the pacing drums in the background allow the raspy vocals to pass, carrying ominous whispers of grim ancient poetry.

Darkestrah focuses more on a cold tremolo riffing, and the synth dances with the heavy guitar riffs on “Nomad”, this track incorporates various instruments and folk music and cleverly weaves gloomy symphonic themes with the grim snarling vocals.

The most appealing surprise on the album is the Nordic influence created by the tremolo-picked riffs and the pagan mood that reminds me of bands like Moonsorrow and Ygg. The pure magic of this epic opus showcases an exceptional and wonderful dark atmosphere that is mixed with the Scandinavian black metal. Powerful riffs and drums keep the tempo intense to bring a majestic feeling overall, and the eerie and dramatic female vocals are used to create something otherworldly.

The drums are one of the strongest elements in the album besides the catchy melodic riffing, and the keyboards make each moment of this song memorable. The female vocals achieve a dramatic standard the perfect blend of the ethnic instruments puts a spell on you, especially during the slow tempos the eerie vocals and the melodies make a perfect unison. The songs are mostly in mid-tempos and the song structures are professionally crafted, and composed with talent.

Destroyer of Obstacles” is one of the furious tracks on the album that begins with powerful blast beats, the riffs, and the melodies are varied as they fit together with the other instruments.

The symphonic segments are rather bombastic backed by furious drums and sharp piercing tremolo-picked riffs, and while the melodies are breathtaking, Darkestrah successfully transformed this opus into a more complex feature that constantly keeps changing into a thrilling grandeur.

Quest of the Soul” has that traditional black metal element in the guitar pitch, the delicate interlacing synth along with the guitars and the drums paints a medieval folk picturesque. The howling black metal vocals and the grandiosity of the composition take the listener beyond the average black metal bands, with the synth-driven overtures creating symphonic laments. Darkestrah inspires the listener to traverse through dark and gloomy places. As the whole music emerges to you from the ancient landscapes of pagan kingdoms, the music gives the listener a sense of shamanism and glimpses of the past Scandinavian black metal majesty that has now been lost.

While most of the songs have a time length of nine minutes, “The Dream of Kojojash” is the shortest song on the album and conveys a truly melancholic and atmospheric piece. The highly ornate work of craft from these veterans graced us with one of their best albums in the sub-genre of pagan/symphonic black metal.


  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 9/10

Darkestrah’s seventh full-length album “Nomad” is sleekly written, this is a very raw shamanic black metal album highly recommended for fans of Moonsorrow, Nokturnal Mortum, and Ygg.

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