Does a brand new 12 months imply new pursuits? New concepts and new beginnings? Who cares? For me, a brand new 12 months simply means extra dying metallic. As such, I’m beginning 2023 off the best way our forefathers meant: with a smattering of muck and greater than a glaze of grime. With this being my objective, I figured I couldn’t go incorrect with the sophomore album from Nothingness, a Minneapolis-based quintet who know craft a riff virtually as competently as they will select an album cowl. However does their newest platter Supraliminal ship? Does it scratch that seemingly unscratchable OSDM itch that by no means ceases to nag? Let’s have a look and see for ourselves. And don’t choose at that. It’ll get contaminated.
Nothingness studied on the Immolation and Morbid Angel college of basic dying metallic, majoring within the oldest of olde strategy; Suppose colossal, crunchy riffs, knuckle-dragging growls and mid-paced destruction with tasteful doses of brutal freneticism. They might have additionally thought-about minoring in Cannibal Corpse, however that’s not probably the most attention-grabbing a part of their larger schooling. Nothingness clearly had a really bizarre senior 12 months, stuffed with a number of “self-discovery” electives and perhaps even a semester overseas. The consequence? A smidgen of dissonance, a dose of atmospherics, and a few off-kilter musical selections that evoke the likes of Voivod. Now, with a bloody sheepskin in hand and a debut album underneath their belt, Nothingness crossed the stage following a number of post-grad research, wanting to get your head banging, your blood pumping and throttle me mindless for extending this tortured metaphor.
Supraliminal options riffs, riffs after which to high all of it off, a number of extra riffs. Whereas it’s simple to level to first monitor “Curse of Creation” because the prime instance, high quality riff-craft is on show all through the document. The chorus on “Catapulted into Hyperspace” (my favourite title to this point this 12 months) feels like what you’d anticipate to listen to as you’re pulled screaming right into a black gap. “Beacon of Loss,” in the meantime, boasts exhausting rock riffage with a skinny movie of doom that’s beefier than something you’d discover at a cattle conference. From blackened, tremolo wailing to doom-laden drudgery to mildewed OSDM grime, Nothingness has a confirmed knack for imbuing a riff with blistering life. This energy is augmented by their willingness to incorporate doses of dissonance in sudden locations, including an uncanny facet to their preparations. “Inviolate Viscera” is probably the most effective instance of this, with a Voivod-inspired, off-kilter essential riff that provides approach to a warbly, plucky chorus and a vibraslap out of nowhere. It’s clear Nothingness are comfy bucking style conventions, as heard on different tracks like “Horrendous Incantation,” “Temple of Damaged Swords” and nearer “Decimation Mechanism.”
Sadly, a nifty bag o’ dissonant tips isn’t fairly sufficient to carry Supraliminal to the lofty heights that Nothingness appear able to. They pack a stable OSDM punch, know their manner round a riff and aren’t afraid to introduce some less-than-traditional (for dying metallic) parts, and but the tip consequence remains to be lower than the sum of its components. Whereas I discovered myself fondly recalling sure sections of sure riffs of sure songs, Supraliminal as a complete felt extra like a seize bag of concepts than a unified entire. There are many attention-grabbing ideas at play, however they’re organized in such a disjointed method that the final word product lacks the cohesion essential to be actually memorable. Tracks like “Curse of Creation” and “Inviolate Viscera” don’t make up for overlong songs like “Temple of Damaged Swords” and “Beacon of Loss” or extra forgettable tunes like “The Anvil.” It seems like Nothingness are nonetheless trying to find the form of band they need to be, and consequently, come off as extra unsure than they’d like.
Nothingness have crafted an attractive however in the end blended platter. However as I shared with an aggrieved colleague, I’d relatively hearken to a robust 2.5 that swings for the fences over a stable however protected 3.0. And that’s in the end the place I come down on Supraliminal: it’s overlong and lacks cohesion, however it’s additionally actually impressed in locations. What’s extra, Nothingless have the chops to handle these nagging points, and I’ll be there once they do.
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Eternal Spew Data
Web sites: everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/supraliminal | instagram.com/nothingness_is_death
Releases Worldwide: January twentieth, 2023