ALBUM REVIEW: Beyond Human Concepts – Nihility
Portugal’s death and black metal undergrounds feature some of the most intriguing and impressive acts in mainland Europe. As a result, there are more than a few great gems hidden in these stages that truly make world class music. One of these groups is the Porto based quartet NIHILITE, including the first feature film in 2019 Thus spoke the Antichrist turned out to be a master class in modern and memorable blackened death metal that boasted mind-blowing musicality and sound more fully formed than the vast majority of new acts. The follow-up of this recording, Beyond human concepts, sees the band’s sound grow even further, showcasing a broader approach to songwriting and some tentative but effective experimentation with their sound.
Martyrdom for the flock is a slow start to the process, combining groovey beats with polished leads, fierce throatiness and tight drums. This gives the song a monstrous yet catchy feel that immediately grabs the listener’s attention. pride takes and builds on the faster, more technical flourishes that defined the second half of the previous track, lending an energetically varied bent to the music while still having many heavy sections similar to the album’s opening . Destroy the chains of prejudice, with its complex drums, overwhelming basslines and fierce vocals, has a thicker quality. The guitars here use tons of smooth melodism, contrasting incredibly well against the muscular undercurrent of the track with great, memorable riffs.
Human stupidity has a more primitive and acerbic side, adding a dash of punk in muddy death metal to make this offering much more rabid and chaotic than previous offerings. Conflicting vanities sees the beefy rhythmic elements of the band’s sound come into prominence, creating a one-track juggernaut with brilliant intensity and particularly effective guitar and bass hooks that make this one of the best tracks on the record so far. Will to power is arguably one of the best on the album, with extremely sharp guitar work and belligerent throatiness being the focal point of this flawlessly aggressive and powerful track which also incorporates significantly denser hooks than on the previous five issues. .
Religious dogma continues in a similar vein, relying heavily on the faster, cacophonous aspects of its sound, and proving to be an exceptionally caustic and savage affair that balances the band’s more catchy components extremely well with their more squeaky and dissonant. . Beyond human concepts sees the music take a distinct turn towards melodeath, with some noticeable progressive flourishes, adding many jarring sections to the incredibly technical and crisp sound on offer. It’s a marked change from the blackened death metal that has been central to this record’s overall sound, but it works perfectly here – a refreshing change of pace that pays off. Sea of Thoughts again sees the sound change to a more atmospheric and seductive sound. It’s built on minimalist tracks that give this brief but fantastic piece of music an epic air, closing the album on a high note and further diversifying the band’s sound even in the final moments of the record.
There are many similarities between this record and Thus spoke the Antichrist; there’s a strong classic blackened death metal influence running throughout the album, and there’s a nice balance between melodic and sharp that doesn’t skew too much in a way. However, it is clear that NIHILITE are more and more confident as songwriters on this album, with the more progressive elements of their sound taking up a bit more prominence than when they debuted, hinting at what could potentially happen in the songs. next versions. This whole record also sounds incredibly lean, tight, and monstrous, which makes it all the easier to understand. It will be interesting to see how the group is able to outdo him with all he has in store.
Beyond Human Concepts is now available through Vicious Instinct Records.
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