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Nihili Locus – Lyaeus Nebularum Award winner

Nihili Locus
Lyaeus Nebularum
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 May 2018, 7:01 AM

Atmospheric Death/Black Metal sextet NIHILI LOCUS have a tale of perseverance. Formed in Italy in 1989, originally under the moniker OMICIDIO, they were an active band in the early part of the 1990’s, releasing a Demo and an EP before splitting. They came back together in 2001 as NIHILI LOCUS, but fell apart again in 2003. In 2008, they came back together, and released their debut full-length MORS in 2010. Eight long years have since passed, and they now present their sophomore effort “Lyaeus Neblaurum, which contains thirteen compilation tracks from their first three releases.

“Memoriam Tenere” leads off the album, and is the longest track, at close to nine minutes. Ominous opening piano notes sound like something out of a horror movie. There is a slow build the leading to the meat of the track. It’s doomy, gloomy and dark, like the chill of the night rain. Within the chaos, life nests safely within, though it’s hidden behind a tangle of thorns and black holes that do not bid you welcome. “Silvara” is a bit shorter in length, but with plenty of power and punch. The deep and weighted Death/Black Metal sound is augmented at times with guitar and keyboard notes that contrast sharply in a unique way. “Rigor Mortis” opens with clean female vocals. The Post-Black Metal sound is before the genre existed. Looking for where this genre got its start? Look no further. It’s like witnessing history, as the harsh vocals join in, and the ambiance is as pretty as it is strong.

“Ancient Beliefs Forgotten” has a rich Black Metal sound, amidst a cloud of thick smoke with noxious fumes. The production is correctly muted to give it that organic sound. The chord progressions keep the evil sound on full display. “Deathly Silence Nebulae” is a Black Metal song that bubbles with Progressive elements; forward-thinking and cautious in its application. The closing piano sequence is a haunting reminder of a sound that was ahead of its time. “Gloomy Theatre of Ruins” opens with acoustic guitar that segues rather awkwardly to the main riff. From the hallowed cellars of a burned out church it comes, spreading sickness into the world as a developing cloud of ash that eventually blots out the sun. “Canto of a Nightly Jewel” has an agonizing and torturous sound, making BLACK SABBATH sound as giddy as ABBA.

“Dance of the Dying Soul” is a short two minute song with clean, hypnotic vocal chants, and a two-chord progression bent on malevolence, seguing gently into “Advesperascit,” which is a short acoustic guitar number played under the cadence of crickets in the night sky. “Buio XII Touches” is a lengthy song with hardened rhythms and enough Doom and gloom to scare the wits from a grown man. “Tectum Nemoralibus Umbris” is a short keyboard song with a somber tone, like watching a beautifully colored flower wilt from the coming chill of winter, and mourning the loss of its once majestic look. “Lugubri Lai” is mostly a guitar instrumental which plays like an old LP on a weathered turn table. It builds slowly with passion and rage, leading to some vocal screams that burn bright with disgust. “La Notte Eterna” has that same production value, almost as if the mid-range was closed out. It has a mesmerizing rhythm and sound like it was recorded on a four track with a single take. This and the sometimes intonation give it a certain charm however.

Listening to this compilation album really brought me back to the roots of the Extreme Metal genre in many ways. Terror From Hell Records brought back a band to life that any fan of the darker side of Metal should be familiar with. Even though these songs were composed close to 25 years ago, it’s a fantastic glimpse into the world of a pioneering band that never fully got off the ground.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Memoriam Tenere
2. Silvara
3. Rigor Mortis
4. Ancient Beliefs Forgotten
5. Deathly Silence Nebulae
6. Gloomy Theatre of Ruins
7. Canto of a Nightly Jewel
8. Dance of the Crying Soul
9. Advesperascit
10. Buio XII Touches
11. Tectum Nemoralibus Umbris
12. Lugubri Lai
13. La Notte Eterna
Massimo Currò – Bass
Mauro Veronese – Guitars
Bruno Blasi – Vocals
Roberto Ripollino – Drums
Valeria De Benedectis – Guitars
Simone Fanciotto – Keyboards
Record Label: Terror From Hell Records


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