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Nihilistenen Barbaarisuus - The Child Must Die

Nihilistenen Barbaarisuus
The Child Must Die
by Danny Sanderson at 24 July 2015, 3:57 PM

With a name like NIHILISTENEN BARBAARISUUS, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this band hails from the icy depths of some Nordic country like Finland. However, these Ambient Black Metallers are actually based in Pennsylvania, USA; an area that is no less cold in the winter than any given Northern European nation, and has an equally vibrant and eclectic Black Metal scene. With two EPs and a full length already under their belt, the band have already gathered a relatively large following which sees them poised to transcend the US Black Metal underground. And their newest full length, "The Child Must Die", might just be the record with which they break through.

This is an album that is characterised by two ends of the Black Metal spectrum; the harsh, raw dissonance that has made the genre world renowned, and the mesmerising, ambient styles that have enjoyed widespread acclaim and attention in the last few years. The opening offering, "Wondrous Sampo", jumps out of the speakers and helps make an impression early on. It has some really impressive, relentlessly fast drumming and equally impressive guitar lines. There's a gruffness to the core sound that works really well, backed by a distinguishable ambience that really helps draw the listener in. It's a very strong way to start this album off, and it really sets the bar high for the tracks that follow it.

The album's title track utilises some cleaner tones to great effect, without sacrificing the eerie aura surrounding the music. This blends pretty well with the more acerbic aspects of the bands sound to create a short, sharp shock of dark, sepulchral Black Metal that sounds great. "Let Them Perish", the album's third offering, is a much more measured, mid-paced affair to begin with, before diving headlong into an intense, raw piece of music with punishing drum work and a palpable ambience that shrouds the whole song. This is one of this album's better offerings, and sticks in the listeners memory long after first hearing it. The distinction of best song, however, easily goes to the following track, "Feast of the North Farm", a vicious, powerful track with plenty of excellent elements to it. The playing on this song is incredibly tight, making it sound all the more fiercer. It's closing moments, a very epic sounding piece of keyboard music, really helps to solidify this song as a future fan favourite.

"Amidst the Waves", one of the album's shortest and most bitter sounding tracks, almost reaches the lofty heights the previous tracks has set, but doesn't quite capture the same grandiose aspects quite as well. Still, it is clear by this point on the record that the band have really begun to hit their stride. The ambience on this song instils a feeling of dread and even doom in the listener, whereas the previous offered a much more relaxed, calming atmosphere that counter-pointed the harshness of the music very well. "Väinamöinen" really plays to the bands more bombastic side, with a really cool, interesting opening piece that sets you up for what's to come. Even the other aspects of the music on here sound fuller and have a touch of the fantastic about them throughout. This song is absolutely monolithic, and sounds huge at certain sections. It's the definitive "penultimate song", bringing this album to a head and setting listeners up for the final offering really well. The closing track, "The Night She Died", is a very short track with a more relaxed feel to it. It's a nice, short piece that ends this album on a high note.

This is a fairly solid album, and showcases a band with a tight, cohesive sound and a lot of interesting ideas. It blends together the more aggressive side of the Black Metal scene with its more sanguine elements, and this works extremely well, creating a sound that is intense and memorable. As far as I'm concerned, "The Child Must Die" has something about it that makes me feel that it's likely to become the band's "breakthrough" album, bringing them wider attention and a whole new audience that they thoroughly deserve.

4 Star Rating

1. Wondrous Sampo
2. The Child Must Die
3. Let Them Perish
4. Feast of the North Farm
5. Amidst the Waves
6. Väinamöinen
7. The Night She Died
Joel Robert Thompson - Vocals
Mika Mage - Guitars, Bass
Record Label: Infernal Kommando Records


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