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Monday, December 4, 2023

Review: Nihilum – Sunless Death

Label: Self released

Date: December 14th, 2020

Not a lot of information can be found about this band. At least not so far. Not even the year of foundation. However, seeing how this is the second EP by Nihilum, coming just six months after the debut one, I will venture a guess that this is a pretty new offspring of US black metal scene.

Furthermore, this seems to be a one-man act. Though an outsider has been involved behind the drum kit. Of course, most of you will think of black metal instantly and you would be correct. And this is an expected produce from a one-man black metal band. Unfortunately…

Now, Nihilum comes from the mind of Nihil (the sole or at least the leading member). Straight from such an unimaginative pseudonym you can understand what can be expected on “Sunless Death”. Of course, Nihil’s mind is completely turned towards the ‘90s Scandinavia. Attempt of mimicking Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral, Watain and such seems to be the main focus of Nihilum’s creator. To some extent this has been successfully achieved on the EP. The problem lays in the mentioned unimaginative approach to the matter. There has already been countless similar products and even some who accomplished much more than Nihilum. The US act offers nothing more than the same, played and re-played, cutting riffing, some dark and melodic leads, screaming voice and drums that go from blast beats to mid-tempo. By the way, there are some quite unnatural rhythms changes in both tracks that really needed much more thought. However, the drumming might just be the brightest point of “Sunless Death”, adding some necessary dynamics to the recording.

Still, a whole lot of development is a mandatory step for the next output by Nihilum. Musically, this form of creation is bound for oblivion. It is quite understandable to have influences and follow certain patterns set long ago. Yet, in this day and age, in order to be heard and accepted, you need at least bits and pieces of your own imagination to spawn from the fertile ground black metal has become. At this point Nihilum shows none whatsoever. The one thing going for the band is their young age. There is still more than enough time to grow.

Until then, this is an EP you can easily let slip by. Nothing all that interesting to hear.