Nihil Mortum – Aletheia

Nihil Mortum
Aletheia
Released: September 2012
Melodic Black Metal/ Death Metal
Released via Inverse Records

The melodic and deceptively slow acoustic guitar intro to ‘Praised Be I’ gives in to some aggressive black metal complete with the stereotypical shreiks. So far you’re probably thinking that this is just another standard black metal album. Yet these guys have a way of keeping the listener on his/her toes… Just when you think you’ve sussed them out, they change their style occasionally even mid-song. The music takes a sudden to towards progressive metal, such as the latter part of the opening track; death metal growling and drums like at the start of ‘Sat’. There’s even a few thrash metal style guitar solos.

Then there’s the bizarre cacophony called ‘Tan’, which starts of with more acoustic guitar, followed by what sounds like two distinctively different voice samples played simultaneously, accompanied by monotonous guitar riffs and steady drumming. Suddenly there’s this guitar solo after which the music starts to resemble a hybrid of thrash metal with death metal style drums. It’s almost as though playing standard melodic black or death metal wasn’t interesting enough for Nihil Mortum. Take ‘Universe Intoxicated’ for instance, it could have been a decent black metal track had they just left out the random vocal sample in the intro.

Even ‘New Messiah’, which starts of with some promising sounding black metal, isn’t free from the random medley of experimental, progressive and thrash metal elements all crammed needlessly into one short song. On notable exception to this is the track ‘God’ where slow acoustic guitar intro actually works well, paving the way for the ferocious black metal that follows. Then there’s ‘Blunt Force Trauma’ which is like three songs in one, starting with slow-paced death metal followed by thrashy black metal and ending with some acoustic guitar and whispers. The album’s main highlight is ‘Cursed Decade’, which is probably the closest thing on here to blackened death metal with odd thrash metal guitar riff thrown in for good measure.

2.5/5 – A bit too complex and experimental for my liking.

Iza Raittila

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