USER NE from South Spanish Málaga count a proud nine full members, that alone already is a sign that this is not the typical band from next door. We have a side flute as well as a bagpipes, a clarinet and a Carrilón (whatever that might be) and the whole thing is then called “Epic Folk Pagan Metal“.
The debut „Nibelum Das Uhört“ from 2000 apparently had been released via a mini label, which was connected to a magazine that under the cover of Black Metal propagated right wing politics, USER NE themselves thankfully do not have any tendencies of that sort and now have signed with the Repulse Records follow up Xtreem Music, via which the second album “Tarantos” was released in early 2003.
And indeed USER NE are a band that you cannot just review like the others, because here Black and Death Metal meets Hispanic Folk and everything assembled in a pretty unusual way, with lyrics in, I think, Spanish, but some of the song titles do not seem to belong into that language…
Anyways, musically the Spaniards offer us a pretty original and interesting mix, the intro “Taranto” consists of Spanish guitars, before “Viola Dobozy” sets out with a flamenco rhythm, after which the band switches into epic Death/Black Metal that then is broken through by a bagpipe, together with alternating rough and clear vocals, then also two different kinds of flutes and some female vocals, extremely interesting start! The ending of the song could come straight form “Ali Baba And The 40 Thieves”, looking at the origin of the band most probably or Moorish descent, before the instrumental “Okankene 22” brings us acoustic guitars with lead flute. And in “Tras El IV Caos” we basically get all of the above in one song.
That the band has a lot of courage in their compositions is also proved in the course of the next songs, with the pure Folk instrumental “Andaluci”, the highly interesting Folk Doom of “Nivel-Um Cix“, the excellent „Main Ört“, which brings us a sort of medieval Folk Black Metal, which I would hand out as check out tip right away, with its bagpipes and the more than ten-minute, very complex “Al-Minzorth” at the end.
With all experimentalism the Spaniards never lose the red line within the songs, which makes “Tarantos” a true listening experience, if you are willing to sit down and really listen to this CD, which is innovative, refreshing, courageous and just simply good, listen for yourself, it’s worth it! (Online March 25, 2004)