Netra is the personal project of Steven Le Moan from France. He started this band in 2003 and after 2 demos he raised the interest of the Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records. So, in the end of 2010 the debut album “Mélancolie Urbaine” was out, making quite an impression with its unusual blend of depressive black metal, jazz and trip-hop! Now, after 2 years in Norway, netra return with their second full-length album “Sørbyen“, a work that took its name after a neighborhood in Gjøvik, where Steven lived.
Despite the great difference between the landscapes in the 2 covers of netra’s albums, the music moves more or less at the same style. The melancholy of urban life that was so uniquely captured in the first album, gives its place to an esoteric depression and loneliness. Acoustic and electric guitars build the suitable background for netra’s amazing synths and melancholic vocals. Electronic sounds and trip hop elements are dominant in their music, but they are in an admirable balance with netra’s metal nature! Depressive black outbursts are limited again, but quite raw and aggressive! I find this album better composed, with many more interesting and “digestible” songs. It seems the band has found its personal style, feels now more comfortable on it, so this time more attention was paid to the melodies. Steven’s clean vocals are much improved and his voice follows the sadness and despair of his songs. Really it’s too difficult to describe his music, I can only feel the depressive soundscapes it creates. If you let ”Sørbyen” drag you in its unique atmosphere, then you can’t escape and you don’t want to!
“Sørbyen” is an excellent album for open minded fans, who’d like to take a trip to the more tranquil paths of depressive melancholic music. Netra have managed to merge some theoretically incompatible genres and break many barriers in a unique result. Their music is based on atmosphere and emotion and I think this is their best work so far; a real masterpiece! It is released again by Hypnotic Dirge Records in jewel case edition, with a 8-page booklet printed in matte paper. You can visit their official sites to listen to their music and their label’s page in order to buy this wonderful album.