the deathwind of resurrection
Nihill – Verdonkermaan
Raw black metal has been a little on the quiet side this year; some great black metal releases from across the genre’s spectrum have made their way into the ether, yet this writer at least has yet to hear anything at the harsher end of the scale that pulses with the kind a sinister malevolence that Nihill’s third offering does. When even the mighty Deathspell Omega fail to impress with their destructive maelstrom of noise, you’ve got to start wondering where the filth has gone. Fear not, because hiding somewhere in a deep recess of Holland is Nihill who close a trilogy that started with 2007s Krach and followed by 2009s Grond, with the slyly intoxicating Verdonkermaan.
Deliciously ominous from the outset, Verdonkermaan revels in its own tumultuous dissonance. The discordant venom slowly fills the darkness of “Vuur: the deathwind of resurrection” and the first track sets out Nihill’s need to consume. Vocalist M.Eikenaar (also found in Dodecahedron) holds a commanding power in his voice – dripping with spite and full of the horrors of an all-encompassing hell he shrieks and wails with delightfully menacing intent and his words come laced with intimidating Gnostic fury.
This destructive force weaves its serpentine path throughout Verdonkermaan; “Spiral: the tail eater” speaks of the Ouroboros and the constant cycle of death and rebirth found within a higher plane of existence. The devastating nature of the lyrical style gives Verdonkermaan an esoteric narrative, the words containing depth and knowledge of worlds long-forgotten by mere mortals. These occultic nuances feed into the dangerous atmosphere created by this three piece and there’s a deep-seated belief that courses through the disgusting veins of Nihill’s output.
“Gnosis Pt. IV” takes a step back from the black rage found within the other tracks on Verdonkermaan and envelopes with hushed whispers of ritualistic tone. Dread builds behind the shades of terror conjured by Nihill via curious crashes of pure noise which often fall away completely leaving Eikenaar’s voice alone in the midst of this anxious passage of time. It’s uncomfortable – the trepidation lays a shadowy cloak over the piece and the possibility of something quite awful being invoked strikes a deep fear into the heart.
Closing on the distressing “Trauma: crushing serpens mercuriales,” Verdonkermaan ends on a beautifully alarming note and Nihill celebrate the annihilation of life with sickening melody and chaos. Verdonkermaan ravages with grimy riffs and powerful walls of noise and Nihill close this trifecta of desecration and violation with sublime supremacy.