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Nullingroots – Malady’s Black Maw

Malady’s Black Maw
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 October 2019, 9:38 AM

The alliance of Casus Belli Musica and Beverina presents the fifth album “Malady’s Black Maw” of the Atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black/Black-Gaze band NULLINGROOTS (Phoenix, Arizona, USA). “Malady’s Black Maw” is a story about the earthly life’s foredoom, and the acceptance of this fact as well as about seeking the existence goals. Life is often interrupted suddenly due to illness or accidents. Living in this reality is banal to the point of vulgarity, but one can get through all that grief and see the beauty which is reflected by this sadness. One can be filled with the dynamics of life and get rid of the disease called “death.” The album contains seven tracks.

“Heaven Bending” leads off the album, with melancholy guitars and some atmosphere. The main riff comes in soon after, and it’s powerful and with crashing cymbals and harsh Black vocals. Within the madness, there are moments of melody that shine through like a ray of light on a cloudy day. “Embers” has a similar sound. So far, I am not hearing many Post-Black/Black-Gaze elements. In fact, despite some melody here and there this is pretty straightforward Black Metal. I spoke to soon…a guitar solo ushers in an ambient moment of beauty just after the half-way mark.

“To Die in a Memory” also has a similar sound and pacing. But pretty quickly into the song comes a brief pause, and then it’s back to the chaos. The drums maintain a pretty strong presence here…and a lead guitar passage brings much beauty to the song. Bass notes usher in a change of tone…wicked and nefarious. “Erase your Map” opens with an aggressive sound as the other tracks have, with vile vocals and a thick mid-section. Some melody begins to rear its head after the half way mark, along with an ambient passage of keys and lead guitar. “Mendacious” stays pretty heavy and harrowing throughout the song. A bit of melody is added towards the end of the track in pretty much the same way they have throughout the album.

“Inculcate” is another similar song in both style and pacing. Some darker elements come into play about a third of the way in, as the song pauses for just a moment. “Tellurian” closes the album. It pretty much sounds like every other song on the album. I’m sorry, but I was hoping for a little diversity here, especially when they identify as Atmospheric/Post/Black-Gaze, because those elements were very few and far between. They did manage some surprises here and there, but as I said, they were fleeting. For a band who’s on their fifth album, you know what you are going to get, and they didn’t deviate from these formulas at all. Overall, quite a disappointment.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Heaven Bending
2. Ember
3. To Die in a Memory
4. Erase your Map
5. Mendacious
6. Inculcate
7. Tellurian
Cameron – Guitars, Vocals
Alex – Guitars
Rob – Drums
Will – Bass
Record Label: Casus Belli Musica


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Edited 27 November 2022

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