Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

No moping - 74%

gasmask_colostomy, December 2nd, 2020

A nice stopgap between the 2 River Of Souls full-length albums, The Nihilist certainly isn’t as melancholy as the moss-stricken statue on the cover would make you think. Mopey gothic doom this is not, but an exuberant strain of doom death mixed with the epic heavy metal textures of DoomSword and perhaps even Manilla Road. A clean intro to ‘Unmanifest’ also perverts early expectations, but Bart de Greef begins growling a minute later and the rather high pace for this style puts all assumptions to rest.

Success beckons for these Dutch upstarts, mainly as a result of their broad sound that sees all instruments working as one to flatten and raise up the listener by turns. I notice a heavier presence around parts of the title track than any of my experiences with River Of Souls heretofore, while closing instrumental ‘Requiem in Am’ performs more like a requiem should by incorporating cleaner textures and dispiriting moods into its length. The general impression for me remains one of power and forward thrust however, chunky riffs appearing more often than melodies and actively oppressing on those deathly parts of ‘The Nihilist’, as well as more technical soloing than I consider fitting from this source. On the other hand, the warm production from guitarist Paul Beltman allows no thought of danger to enter the picture.

As only a 3 song EP, The Nihilist feels less compelling than the surrounding full-lengths, though I appreciate the band taking the opportunity to broaden their sound for such a release. Doom death fans would do better to search this out than the epic doom crowd that would more enjoy The Well of Urd, although I suppose I fit into both groups and therefore probably like this more for the mixing of aspects from both pools.