Netra - Ingrats
Sat 18 November 2023 — download


Ingrats ("ungrateful ones" in French) is the 3rd album from Netra, and it's a very lonely one, for I don't think it has any peers. A mix of depressive black metal, trip hop, and jazz à la Bohren & der Club of Gore in equal measures, bound together with a hint of depressive darkwave, resulting in a not only surprisingly cohesive and daring record, but also an excessively pleasant and honest one.

Opening with "Gimme a break", a mellow jazzy noir blues vibe where one wants to snap in rhythm, things quickly devolve into blast beats, raw screams and twisted guitar of "Everything’s Fine", arguably the most black-metal-esque song of the album. Albeit it is way more than yet-another-black-metal-track, morphing into something more complex, with an eerie piano melody, and some almost gothic rock clear singing. The sudden transitions are perfectly executed, and the work on the voices is truly delicious, resulting in an alienating, impetuous yet melancholic track. "Underneath my words the ruins of yours" is a subtle mix of trip-hop and atmospheric post-rock/darkwave, pursuing with "Live with It", even more trip-hop, but this time with a syncopated rhythm, 80s gothic rock, clean vocals and acoustic guitars, … it results in something like Katatonia doing a feat with Gramatik and Ulver period early 2000s.

Then the calm before the storm, "Infinite bordedom", a one minute interlude of grainy piano under the rain, announcing "Don't Keep Me Waiting", some sort of nihilist black metal track, but with the noted presence of a saxophone and some clear touches of jazz. The presence of a whispered sample from L’exercice de l’État has a gentle touch of Ba'a. Moving on to "A Genuinely Benevolent Man", starting with synthesisers, then a 4|4 kick resulting in something that could be on a VNV Nation album. Until it decays into something more raw, and when the shrieking vocals are showing up, you didn't even realise that we've left the world of the darkwave to return into the one of black metal.

"Paris or Me", dark and rainy, with bits of triptop percussion, introducing "Could've, Should've, Would've", with tasteful hints of Depeche Mode, Dead Can Dance, post-2000 Velvet Acid Christ, giving it a resolute tasteful darkwave-synth-pop-EBM cocktail. The album ends with "Jusqu'au-boutiste", starting with some jazzy piano on a walking bass, turning into an ultra-saturated tremolo riff with blast beats, and both worlds are alternating along the track, only interrupted by a very à propos sample from Low Down. It goes on until the piano gets creepier and creepier, landing into strings, morphing into dislocated tip-hop soul, beaching onto calm synthesisers, and ending with raw black metal as background for electronic sounds.

As Hypnotic Dirge Records, the label on which the disc was produced, perfectly summarised:

The perfect soundtrack for late-night walks in the city. The material on “Ingrats” is an all-out assault on the senses, a bitter pill that must be swallowed as an accompaniment for self-reflection. An album which can connect emotionally and leave you drained at the end.