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Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus: Madness Incarnate

With a name that's Finnish for Nihilistic Barbarity, you won't be surprised to hear Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus are a black metal outfit, although you may be slightly more caught off guard by the fact the band hail from Philadelphia… The other surprise may be that this 19 minute long EP is actually ambient black metal, the addition of that word key to the success of what is an undoubtedly convincing release. Following on neatly from their previous full length, The Child Must Die, (which I managed to grab a listen to thanks to the neat little download card that arrived with this promo CD), this short blast also seems to represent quite a step forward. For a genre that can in the wrong hands be uninspired and one dimensional, what strikes you about Nih-Baar (this band have way too many "i's" and "a's" to type out in full every time…) is just how varied they can be within just five tracks; atmospheric crawls punctuating the full on (and convincing) brutality. While even within the more full-force offerings the change of attack between the keep you awake at night fear inducement of "Virgin Essence" and the film noir on speed horror of "Immaculate Deconception" is brave and welcome. Whereas "Comte-Sponville" is actually an engaging acoustic piece that closes the EP in contradictory style.

The band itself would appear to be no more than Mika Mage now, guitar, synth and composition credited to him, while his ex-band mates Joel Robert Thompson (vocals on "Madness Incarnate") and Manuel Rodriguez (bass throughout) are credited as guests. Other contributors show up in the shape of Joffre Videz on drums, James Dorton (Black Crow Initiate, Nightfire, Aborted Existence, Antikythera) who handles vocals on "Virgin Essence" and Gary Hadden (Lesch-Nyhan) vocals on "Traversing The Frozen North" and "Immaculate Deconception". That may all sound a little disjointed, but with all the vocalists contributing superbly, it actually turns out to be one of the real strengths of this EP.

Madness Incarnate is one of those short, underground releases that arrives with little fanfare, before taking you completely by surprise. With excellent sonics and a genuine and varied atmosphere, it may also be one of the most interesting, if far from stereotypical, black metal releases you'll hear for some time.

Track Listing
1. Traversing the Frozen North [v. Gary Hadden]
2. Madness Incarnate [v. Joel Robert Thompson]
3. Virgin Essence [v. James Dorton]
4. Immaculate Deconception [v. Gary Hadden]
5. Comte-Sponville (acoustic)

Added: September 10th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus on bandcamp
Hits: 1536
Language: english

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