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Nightland – The Great Nothing

The Great Nothing
by Alex Barnard at 27 December 2021, 11:02 PM

NIGHTLAND is a Symphonic Death Metal band from Pesaro, Marche, Italy. “The Great Nothing” is the band’s third full-length album, released by Scarlet Records on November 19, 2021.

Well, this is one of those bands that uses a plethora of orchestral elements to achieve a grand sound, but not necessarily a heavy one. Don’t get me wrong, there are parts of this that are pretty heavy, but apart from the death growls, it feels like slightly-slower-Power Metal. It's not that clean singing is bad in heavy music; OPETH and EMPEROR are two bands that do it perfectly. But, there's one thing that those bands have that this one doesn’t: heavy riffs! The orchestral parts augment the music for those bands, they’re not the centerpiece (e.g. the chorus of “Further,” which also just had boring riffs in general).

It is worth noting that the band members themselves are very talented. The OPETH metaphor is especially fitting for guitarist/vocalist/orchestral arranger Ludovico Cioffi, especially on the vocal side; he can effortlessly switch between dramatic clean singing and devastating death growls. Brendan Paolini is a competent rhythm guitarist, Filippo Scrima’s basslines are an important aspect of the harmonies Cioffi is writing, and Filippo Cicoria’s drumming is very tight. If only riff writing was more of a strong suit for these folks.

Some of the better moments on this album include “The Great Nothing, pt. 1: Of Seeking and Straying,” which has a pretty headbanging riff in the middle of the track and some epic sounding solos; “The Conjunction of Benetnash,” which was a pretty heavy opener, I will admit; and “101 Megaparsecs,” a tranquil reprieve from the rest of the album, with its only weakness being a clichéd chord progression.

Overall, this is an OK album. While I’m not a fan of the riffing style on this album, NIGHTLAND are certainly talented with their craft and this record shows a fairly high level of compositional abilities from the group. I think touching up the riff writing would take the band ten times further.

Production: 7
Musicianship: 6
Songwriting: 5
Memorability: 3

2 Star Rating

1. The Conjunction of Benetnash
2. For Once My Name
3. Shade of a Lowering Star
4. Further
5. 101 Megaparsecs
6. The Great Nothing, pt. 1: Of Seeking and Straying
7. The Great Nothing, pt. 2: The Reliever
8. The Great Nothing, pt. 3: Pursuers of Absolution
Ludovico Cioffi – Guitars, Vocals, Orchestrations
Filippo Scrima – Bass
Filippo Cicoria – Drums
Brendan Paolini – Guitars
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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