Our Heavy Metal goddess this month is the perfect representation of all the beauty and finesse of her home country: Agnieszka “Nera” Górecka, or simply Nera, is a gorgeous Polish singer and songwriter from the city of Katowice (Silesia), known for her potent vocals in the Polish Symphonic Black Metal band Darzamat, and more recently for her own solo project called NeraNature.
Nera started her career in 1997 with the Gothic Metal band MidnightDate, from the city of Gliwice, about 30 minutes from Katowice. Then after a few years she finally joined Darzamat, in 2003, with whom she has recorded so far three studio albums: Semidevilish (2004), Transkarpatia (2005), and their latest one Solfernus’ Path (2009), as well as a live DVD called Live Profanity (Visiting the Graves of Heretics). In one of her interviews, she explained the meaning of the band’s name, saying it comes from the Latvian mythology and it denotes garden goddess ( dārzs = garden and māte = mother, in Latvian). In her own words, “I really like it as it seems to me very “organic”, close to the nature and paganism”, showing her passion for everything related to Mother Nature.
Due to Nera’s powerful voice, astonishing looks and sexy onstage moves (and of course, the overall quality of their music), Darzamat reached then some status, gaining respect from Heavy Metal fans all over the world, being invited to play in festivals with exceptional bands such as Arch Enemy, Carcass and Stratovarius, and even in a special Heavy Metal festival in India, which is something rare to see in heavy music today. Besides that, the band also featured in the 2009 edition of the amazing Metal Female Voices Fest. Nera’s mesmerizing performance with Darzamat can be seen in the videos In Red Iris, from the album Semidevilish, and The Burning Times, from the album Transkarpatia.
In 2009, Nera founded her own solo project called NeraNature, completely different from Darzamat. The music is more like some Gothic Rock, with Nera using her voice in a smooth and charming way, and according to Nera herself, “this project is more intimate, private and sometimes bizarre and freakish.” The name of the band is a combination of her own nickname and the word “Nature”, as a reflection of her deep connection with the environment. This connection can be easily seen in the lyrics, which are all about Nature itself, life, and a more feminist outlook of the world. She released a full-length album in 2011 called Foresting Wounds, which includes a pretty cool cover version of Garbage’s The World Is Not Enough, and has recently released a new single entitled Drifting (available on iTunes and Amazon.co.uk), which probably means there will be a new NeraNature album pretty soon.
Apart from her career with Darzamat and NeraNature, she appeared as a guest singer in the albums Arcane (2010), by the Portuguese Gothic Metal band Dark Wings Syndrome, and Ordo Bellictum Satanas (2010), by the Ukrainian ex-Black Metal band Semargl.
Regarding her musical influences, Nera said the most important bands and artists in her life, which helped define her singing style, were The Gathering, Tiamat, Samael, Ulver, Bathory, Arcturus and Opeth. Furthermore, it seems she has a very eclectic taste for music, as she usually listens not only to Heavy Metal, but also to several kinds of rock, ambient, smooth jazz and some classical music. In her free time, Nera enjoys listening to music from the bands Peccatum, Emperor, Ulver, Opeth, Pink Floyd, Leszek Mozdzer, Satyricon and some soundtracks such as Twin Peaks, Requiem for a Dream, and Dracula. She also mentioned she has a special admiration for the music of the Norwegian Black Metal band Emperor, and that she would love to perform live one day with them.
And finally, when talking about her voice and technique, Nera said that your emotions, experiences and own interpretations are much more important than any singing classes you might take in your life (by the way, she has never taken any), and that the most exciting thing for her is that your voice is unique, it’s like your fingerprint, and it helps define each person in the world, not only singers. We have to agree with her, but let’s be honest and also admit that the voice of this gothic polska księżniczka, as well as her beauty and charm, are way above the average.
“Nature is life, truth, beauty and power.” – Agnieszka “Nera” Górecka