Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
Distributor/label URL: http://www.ultraje.pt/
Buy Album [URL]: https://ultraje.bandcamp.com/album/black-path
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Nihileyesband/
Szymon Ogiełło – Drums
Max Morgan – Bass
Casey Jones – Guitar and Vocals
- Nihil Eyes
- Burn the Leech
- Lord of Flies
- As the Water Falls
- Border Line
- True Nihilist
- Treachery and id
In my virtual hands lies the forthcoming release from newcomers Nihil Eyes, their 8 track full-length debut release “Black Path”. “Nihil Eyes” label themselves as a political death metal band act where “Black Path” seeks to explore the darker known modern human fallacies; homicide, suicide, narcissism, mental instability and political corruption. Immediately I’m expecting some post anarcho-punk sounding death metal in the vein of Napalm Death, which wouldn’t disappoint me in the slightest. Little is said about their influences, aside from a sultry ‘Suitable for fans of Carcass and Bolt Thrower’ like a usage note from a kitchen appliance. Let’s get on this then!
First up we have the band-name-come-song-title track “Nihil Eyes”, which immediately strikes me with that ‘Does what it says on the tin’ Bolt Thrower vibe. Two harmonised guitars pass into some meaty galloping riffs. Vocally we’re nowhere near Karl Willets territory, moreover a mid-ranged multi-layered set of growls that kind of remind me a little of Jesse Leach (Formerly of Killswitch Engage). The tempo is mid to slow throughout giving it a good solid thumping momentum. Things change considerably in “Burn the Leech” leaving Bolt Thrower town for dust, striving for a faster pace with some very competent blast beats and a suitably fast picked guitar follow-up. Blink and you’ll miss it though, it’s only just over 2 minutes.
“As the Water Falls” has a rather nice punchy picked bass intro running into some ringing guitar chords and tap-work, the tempo overall being pretty laid back. The vocals adopt a distorted low-key atmospheric spoken word format until later on when it returns to business as usual. The solos on this track are pretty soulful, you can tell it wants nothing to do with any over the top fret-wankery, amen to that! Later highlights include the general chunkiness of “Border Line”, the Testament like thrash injection and grooves of “True Nihilist” and the ending track “Manifesto” featuring some strong Machine Head like riffing and varied vocal styling.
“Black Path” has a good level of polish to it and plays well on headphones and speakers alike. I’m not one for trashing an album just on a lower quality production, but when it’s there, it does make a difference and it greatly reduces listening fatigue. In its entirety “Black Path” is a solid first release. It’s not going to redefine death metal or give you anything new, but I don’t think it wants to, it’s happy to shake hands with its contemporaries and salute its influences. “Black Path” will be available digitally and in physical form from May 18th.