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Nicarus - Coal People Coal Puppets (2021) - Review

Band/Artist: Nicarus
Album title: Coal People Coal Puppets
Release date: 8 January 2021
Label: Self-Released
Genre: Doom Rock/Metal, Post-Rock, Dark Rock, Dark Pop, Alternative Rock

01. We Can See Their Lies
02. Are You Afraid To Die Alone
03. Coal People Coal Puppets
04. The Architect Of Grime
05. With Storms We Thrive
06. The Stuff You Pack When You Are A Time Traveler

In the last couple of years, there is an expansion of one-girl bands in the dark music fields, but I don't recall to have heard for anyone before Nicarus that comes from Israel. The truth is that popularity of rock music in Israel is in a steady decline for quite some years now, and we all know that in the early 90s we got much great stuff from the "holy land". Nicarus, the solo project of the artist Tali Green was founded in 2015, and she is one very talented individual and has released so far only one EP, Holy Sun Father Spirit, in 2019. Even though all of her music is done 100% DIY it's from all the aspects done very professional.

Nicarus' music is eclectic, all the way gloomy, it's certainly experimental yet there are many intentional or unintentional influences to be found. Don't expect some kind of a pagan folk in the vein of Myrkur or pagan blackened stuff in the style of Vermilia or Suldusk, Nicarus rocks here with heavy sounds and versatile yet powerful and emotional vocals. It's hard to describe this music, but if you can imagine a strange mix between Chelsea Wolfe, Darkher, Emma Ruth Rundle, a bit of Nirvana and some The Gathering from How To Measure A Planet, then you are close to what to expect here. There's a lot of doom, some tragic pop sensibility, alternative rock, post-rock and heavy crust. But enough of finding the right genre specification here, because Nicarus does her own thing.

Coal People Coal Puppets is hypnotic from start to finish, and apart from the rather linear but still haunting shoegazing opener "We Can See Their Lies", there are many mood changes. The music is constantly heavy, doomy, pounding, but as well dramatic and Nicarus nicely makes it cinematic with movie kind insertions, just listen how well is this done in the enigmatic album title track or in the gentle closing track "The Stuff You Pack When You Are A Time Traveler". The songs take the listener on a wild unpredictable ride. Captivating slow powerful and sometimes crushing rhythmic lines, dirty, heavily distorted crusty guitars, strong, expressive but yet sometimes truly seductive fragile vocals, makes the listener wanting for more.

Each track is its own story, and if you are more into the doomy atmospheric and catchy stuff you'll prefer the first three tracks, of which "Are You Afraid To Die Alone" stands out as the main representative. But if you are more into dark alternative and heavy rock things than the second half of the album will be your thing, of which the nine-minutes long versatile “The Architect Of Grime” takes on a journey through kind of dark rock, literature readings, and even pseudo-operatic moments similar to Kate Bush.

Nicarus' debut album with ironic but meaningful title Coal People Coal Puppets deserves your attention, not only that it's musically very well done and somehow special, but also the production is very adequate for a DIY thing. The album has depth and a soul, and that is enriched further with thoughtful and rather mystical but still meaningful lyrics. The problem I have with this album is its length because of circa 35 minutes of this kind of gloom are maybe not enough to experience a real sonic catharsis. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend Nicarus' debut Coal People Coal Puppets to each one who can find himself in at least one of the things that I described above. Until you don't hear it you don't know what kind of a sonic adventure you are missing.

The review was written by Tomaz
Rating: 8/10