NIHILITY - BEYOND HUMAN CONCEPTS
NO-NONSENSE PORTUGESE DEATH METAL
Portugal’s Nihility wretch up an honest and unpretentious offering of anti-social death metal with a strong register of thrash DNA. Beyond Human Concepts is packed with decent muscular riffs, a vicious percussion engine, and some spiraling acrobatic solos. The musicianship on show is inarguably adept technically and there is a palpable sense of this record being lovingly and diligently crafted. Martyrdom for the Herd, for example, batters down the gates with a careering piece of straight-down-the-line, pell-mell DM and is an enticing opener.
The whole thing is, however, wholly unoriginal. Once again though – as is the case with so many death metal acts – this seems to be the intended game plan. Indeed, the underworld could be partially populated by hordes death metal bands all peddling sheer celebratory attitude in lieu of originality or progression. This is, of course, perfectly fine and nobody in the scene seems to mind if it is done well; it just happens to be a highly saturated market.
To be fair though Nihility seem perfectly comfortable in their over-populated habitat and plough away loyally. At times, though, this album would probably strain to stand out from the swathes of competition. Everything about it is competent, though some of it slightly standard and workaday. That feels potentially a little harsh as Nihility do nothing wrong – but the music is solid without being a classic, capable if not an inspiration.
On Beyond Human Concepts, however, it is when the band just let themselves go that the results can be incendiary. The likes of the furious Human Stupidity, for example, showcase what happens when the band surrender caution and allow unabashed passion to flow. It is a quick blast of thrashy red-mist fury and during explosive moments such as this and the forceful Conflicted Vanities or the rabid Will to Power the record comes alive with spit and spirit rather than meticulousness and control. Wisely for this form of music, the record has a brevity with each track mostly clocking in at a barnstorming two-three minutes.
Beyond Human Concepts will not catapult Nihility into the big leagues or the annals of the death metal greats yet. It is more off-the-peg rather than bespoke but it is neat and competent and kind of likeable enough. If you need a quick fix of noisy, civilian-bothering death metal to augment your day– and who doesn’t – this no-nonsense formula will be a fine tonic but not a panacea.
Beyond Human Concepts was released via Vicious Instinct Records