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The Ghost Shudders - 82%

Neheroth, January 13th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, 12" vinyl, Vendetta Records (Limited edition)

Born amongst the fabled heraldry of yore, the tyranny of feudalist rule and the bleak ruin of famine, plague and storm hunger - Nimbifer rises to the fore with nobility and sorrow in its heart. Commanded by Germanic knights of sinister repute; war drum chevalier, Strumfriedht and multi weapon master, Windkelch, Nimbifer are a two piece force of tragic raw black melody that blood stained legends are made from. Taking the good fight to the mortal realm since 2019, Nimbifer has wasted little time in producing two stellar demo incantations in less than a year, both of which have been lovingly compiled by the prolific cabal, Vendetta Records, onto black wax artefacts of impressive construction.

This complication incantation, aptly titled Demo I&II, is an excellent place for any acolytes unfamiliar with Nimbifer to begin their crusade, this compilation covering the majority of their current work - minus the two spells available on Ruins of Humanity split. Any with even the slightest interest in Sargeist, Horna or Belektre should aim to obtain this composition incantation with the all the haste of chivalrous fury; for all those same needs can be fulfilled here. Creating a maelstrom of; melancholy tremolo melodies, dramatic drum sections, heart breaking atmosphere and tragic medieval evocation, Nimbifer are raw black lords of resplendent despair.

It is through a mixture of martial nobility and abject despair that Nimbifer ply their sorcery. Opening spell, “Geister”, allows listeners to experience this in full with a cymbal driven drum framework of oath shattering portent combined with tear spilling guitar melodies and a vocal style akin to howling into a snowstorm of sorrow. Following spell, “Im fahlen Schein”, picks up immediately and increases the momentum ten fold, blazing blast beats building into breakdowns of distraught release. There is an air of desperation throughout the entirety of the incantation, feudal lords fighting a final stand, white path aligned priests burning heretics and wailing mourners from the death of their benevolent ruler.

It is this atmosphere of anguish that elevates Nimbifer much in the same way as those infamous tyrants of old mentioned prior. Bold and aggressive instrumentation fused with lamentable melodies. Fierce and fraught simultaneously, Nimbifer carve a path through both emotions with mature execution, not only in sound, but in thematic and visual representation as well. Medieval visuals, themes and tropes have been explored in the genre for decades now, but Nimbifer’s use of minimalistic medieval slaughter upon their covers works magic with their sound; especially with the new cover of this compilation incantation, which takes the precious visuals and improves their emotional weight majestically.

Strumfriedht’s execution of drum work throughout all of the incantation is sublime and awe inspiring to behold. His work on spell, “Der Herrscher”, is a blitz of eclectic cannonade devastation; right from the start each clash of cymbals, each break of sorrow and each blast of savagery sounds effortless in his display of martial triumph. Windkelch is no less the noble warrior when it comes to his own sorcery, every melody constructed and employed being the thorned heart of the composition. “Kadaver” features such soul rending misery through these melodies that despair is a difficult creature to keep at bay, especially when those tremolo riffs are brought to the fore around a third of the way through the spell; as well as the sombre bass led melodies toward the end of it.

Strumfriedht and Windkelch make for an excellent partnership, one in which each other’s spellcraft only seeks to elevate the others, all compositions coming across with the maturity and confidence of master sorcerers. Nimbifer in a short time have laid their gauntlets heavy upon the contemporary scene, both demo incantations cast into the celestial inkwell being startling successes, leaving acolytes wondering what artistry will be brought once the duo release their debut full length incantation. Vivid in its penchant for sorrow spilling sorcery and confident in its execution of raw black instrumentation, Nimbifer look to have a bright future ahead, one steeped in blood stained promises, desolated innocence, perpetual crusade and Germanic ghosts of old.

The ghost shudders. A world of law and a world of justice. Servants pledge fealty to the ruler of land, heart and hearth. From the thickets come those men at arms, wicked steel upon breast and in hand. Servants seek safety through their fealty to the ruler of fire, pain and loneliness. No mercy. No ghost. No freedom. Steel takes land. Cannon takes heart and rapine takes hearth. The kingdom bleeds away it’s sorrows into bottomless water well as mailed fist crushes skull and steals innocence. Servants break oaths to the ruler of emptiness, bone and broken home. A world of chaos and a world of barbarism. The ghost shudders.

Orginally published for GLOOMHAMMER Digital