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Nonexistence - Antartica

by Spyros Stasis at 13 May 2013, 5:37 PM

NONEXISTENCE return six years after the bands really strong debut album, “Nihil”, and Philip Santoll (mastermind of the band), supported by Tuomas Saukkonen (of BLACK SUN AEON, BEFORE THE DAWN and recently of WOLFHEART) gather together the emotion of melodic Doom / Death, combined with a majestic Black Metal sound in parts, a touch of gothic and the heavy riffs of Doom Metal, all bound together in order to bring forth NONEXISTENCE’s latest album “Antartica”.

The title gives away that the album does sound quite cold and to be fair it also feels a bit crystal-like, mainly due to the very clean production, which in this case fits perfectly the sound of the band. The opening song of the album, “Hope Dies First”, does exactly what it is supposed to do: hook the listener to this album. When the chorus kicks in there is no way you will press stop until the record is finish, and then you will want to listen to it again. The wide variety of extreme vocals and the great sounding clean vocals, for instance in “Shroud of Distress”, give the album a certain variety.

When you also combine that with the use of keys, choirs, strings the whole experience becomes quite diverse and interesting, and no… do not think that with the use of so many instruments here this album will sound messy, everything is used the way they should, a perfect example is the unbelievable “Darkness Shining”.

One more aspect of the album that makes it so good is that even though the sound of NONEXISTENCE is quite consistent throughout the album, there are elements of different genres and bands that sit perfectly with the structures of the songs. For instance most of the melodies in the album, do remind a fair bit of SWALLOW THE SUN, while there are moments where NONEXISTENCE seem to be flirting with the majestic black metal side of bands such as DIMMU BORGIR, for instance in the beginning of “Multiverse”, while at other points they also have some sort of an ARCTURUS like sound, just the emotional part of ARCTURUS and not the completely insane side of the legendary Norwegian avant-garde Black Metal band. And of course the album would not be complete if there were not a few heavier Doom Metal moments, such as in the beginning of “Here is Nowhere”.

But in the end of the day the highlight here is the melodies. They are completely astonishing, either if they are played on the guitars, keys or strings they are absolutely breathtaking, for instance the lead guitar part near the end of “Multiverse” or the lead on the clean vocals part in “Shroud of Darkness” and the very beginning of “Hope Dies First”, they do not fail once in this release. The closing track of the album “Starless Aeons” is magnificent with, once again, haunting melodies and Tuomas Saukkonen performing the vocals, it is just mind-blowing.

For all fans of melodic extreme Metal music, beware!! NONEXISTENCE has just brought their “cosmic doom black metal”. Consider yourselves warned.

4 Star Rating

1. Hope Dies First
2. Vast Abysses Inside
3. Shroud of Distress
4. Darkness Shining
5. The Void of No Void
6. Multiverse
7. Here Is Nowhere
8. Starless Aeons
Philip Santoll – Guitars, Vocals, Programming
Tuomas Saukkonen – Drums, Bass, Vocals (on “Starless Aeons”)
Record Label: Candlelight Records


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