(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Krach (2007), 7/10
Grond (2009), 6.5/10
Verdonkermaan (2012), 6/10

Dutch band Nihill debuted with Krach (Monumentum, 2007), that was neatly divided in two parts, one side of distorted industrial-grade black metal and one side (the 42-minute Gnosis) of droning hyper-doom metal. The first side is more atmospheric than most black metal. The epileptic fit of Mundus Subterraenus is mediated by engine-like guitar noise and by bass-lines that hint at a melody, and the blast-beats of Dreams Upon The Scaffold are almost "modulated" to sound like a rockabilly rhythm while the guitar and the vocals engage in a battle of alienating repetition. Both pieces are interrupted by cryptic and chaotic theatrical scenes, like documentaries from hell. The three-movement suite Gnosis opens with dirty drones that lay the groundwork for the colossal riff and the martial beats. The riff decays into a distorted rumble and, during a drumming pause, the guitar intones a languid lament. The first movement eventually loses all its energy as it spirals down into a galactic vacuum. The second movement focuses on the recitation, set in a landscape of sound effects and no drums. The third movement is even more abstract, sounding like a nuclear explosion and the propagation of its wave of radiation, all simulated by guitar and bass.

Grond (Hydra Head, 2009), instead, opted for a barbaric and relentless sonic assault. The eleven-minute Aard is all blast-beats and hysterical guitar, with the timid growl emerging late in the game. The pace of the 17-minute Antimoon is more humane, without blast-beats but with more intense and disturbing guitar noises that yield a lengthy coda of pure dissonance and ambience. The twelve-minute Vacuum intones a gloomy chant over a tribal voodoo beat and the carpet distortion of the guitar, the whole turning into a hysterical self-destructive crescendo. The recitation prevails in the eleven-minute Pulsus, the music being a prolonged agony of screaming guitar and bass. The theatrical quality of Krack is here centerstage, the very reason for the music to exist.

The trilogy closed with Verdonkermaan (Hydra Head, 2012). The ten-minute Vuur - The Deathwind Of Resurrection is another sublime essay on how to craft a nerve-wracking atmosphere, relentless pounding horror beyond horror. Spiral - The Tail Eater, downshifts gear to a distorted lugubrious slow-motion voodoobilly. A frenzied rockabilly-style rhythm propels Orbron - Returning To The Primal Matter, that halfway implodes into a raging, relentless atonal black hole, sounding more like a concentrate of hateful instincts than like "music". Gnosis Pt 4, on the other hand, drops the drums and embraces subliminal whispers and cosmic drones.

Michiel Eikenaar also sings in Dodecahedron which debuted with Dodecahedron (Season Of Mist, 2012).

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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