band: The Nihilistic Front album: Procession to Annihilation year: 2013
genres: death doom metal origin: Australia
genres: death doom metal origin: Australia
I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF MELTING CITY!!
An ambulance siren, people shouting, buildings collapsing, maybe a helicopter… that’s what should sound when you dare to listen to this merciless album and hit play to the first song. How many metal albums have you listened that kick off the opening track with a sampled war scene? A complete post would be needed to list them. Australia based duo The Nihilistic Front gets rid of the traditional approach for bringing the listener to an apocalyptic stage and develops that feeling throughout the album by means of the traditional instrumentation setup but used in an extreme and almost painful way that will make you feel the misery explicitly depicted in the cover art of the album. “Procession to Annihilation” is the first output I hear from The Nihilistic Front, but they are not a newbie band whatsoever. Those angry fellas had already issued three albums before. For the sake of objectivity I chose not to listen to them until I finish this review.
The duo manages a death doom metal skeleton. Even though this last statement could make you stop reading this because you surely know how a death doom metal album sounds like, stay because those guys are more into relentless death and black metal than into doom, thus the sound of this project is rawer and heavier than the average death doom bands, and as a satisfaction guaranty, I can tell you that their sound is weird enough to meet even the most avant-garde hipster requirements.
Once you start this procession to annihilation there is no way back, you are taken to a trashed place. Since the very first track “Confronted by the Obscure” The Nihilistic Front cautions you that you are now crowning among debris in a place in war. Remember how Slayer’s classic song “Raining Blood” started? Drums foretold that something gruesome was about to happen, similar spine-chilling drums are found in this first track. Throughout the album, guitars are so crushing, so heavy and so slow that you can feel the weight of pieces of concrete and metal falling upon you. The sludge guitar effects evoking masters Corrupted, helped by lots of guitar noises create the sound of a bunch of metal structures bending and crushing. The metropolitan apocalyptic picture is also developed by a suitable industrial metal influence: programmed slow drums that not only unveil the mark that Godflesh has left but also remember other “human” drums like those from Disembowelment and their steadfast usage of its double bass. The worship to that vanished doom metal legend is evident in this album, especially in its death metal-biased brutality. This fact should not be shocking, seemingly these guys move into the death metal circles running some other death and black metal projects. With this in mind we take a glance to the homonymous song of the album which kicks off with a nice dosage of fast death metal riffage and performing the change of tempos patented by Disembowelment.
The album is even more upset once we take in count vocals. Were you in a trivia show on tv, you would surely guess the use of deep growls for this CD, and you’d be right, but your answer would not be complete since The Nihilistic Front has an ace up its sleeve that will make the difference. Quite brutal guttural vocals are featured of course, but there is another voice, a “clean” one that sometimes speaks with some noisy distortion aiding the industrial feeling and taking in mind industrial doomsters Zaraza whose music can actually join the ingredients in this blender too. Clean vocals chanting slow melodies in an almost hypnotic and catatonic fashion can also be found. These voices are sometimes looped and echoed and introduce an extra entity: some black metal screams with slight distortions and effects, much in the vein of Esoteric. As you can see, the already brutal and miserable atmosphere is endowed with this rich and twisted vocal work turning out into an authentically chaotic experience.
The band has developed quite an original sound. Maybe the whole concoction can be compared with the ambitious project The Sad Sun, especially in vocals and the industrial apocalyptic feeling. Nevertheless, it is straightforward to realize that The Nihilistic Front has a different concept of doom, a more brutal and aggressive one while The Sad Sun was more focused in drone and atmospheric stuff. The Sad Sun brought you there to stare the wrecked area whereas The Nihilistic Front put you right below a building that is about to collapse upon you. Both are striking approaches. If you are into that non-romantic way of listening to doom metal you should not miss this one. It is brutal, slow, ultra heavy, noisy and yet atmospheric… what else can your eardrums ask for?