REVIEW: Altarage - Nihil


Raw. That was my first impression when it came to listening to Altarage's 'Nihil' and that was only within the first few moments. This album is rough as hell! But, that really is a vague statement and, yeah, I guess it could be taken out of context; in a negative sense. So, let me clarify: Nihil is rough is all the right ways. A swirling, pounding, downward force of an album and, if you've missed this Spanish band's glorious debut, you are sorely missing out on one of the best death metal albums you'll ever hear.

When I say 'swirling, pounding, downward force' I am not over-exaggerating. Altarage's debut, from the get go, hits you over the head with walls of gritty distortion, a drummer that sounds like he is beating the living hell out of his set, and a questionable vocal style that works, but really starts to grow on you after a while. Hell with all that 'death metal' purity mumbo-jumbo going on these days, Nihil kicks you in the teeth with surgical precision - only to skew your sense of reality in a haze of nightmarish sound. Some tracks even feel as if they exist purely to bombard you with the nastiest grimiest sound possible - tracks like 'Vortex Pyramid' are even genuinely frightening in segments. Even with all the hundreds of albums I've listened to, on this blog and personally, I cannot believe some of the sounds made within these recordings were thought of by actual human minds. Its truly mind-blowing.

There really is no reason why, if you love death, or even sludge, that you shouldn't be at least giving this album a shot. Your out there bashing Deathcore? Well, this is truly everything that genre can never be (not that I hate Deathcore, I'm sort of down the road on it). Hell, it is even on cassette and vinyl for those of us who love our obscure media (I'm addicted, personally). Support the bands you love, and, for crying out loud, support bands like Altarage so that they can keep making albums like this.