|Review: 0XiST - Nil|
Label: Ostra Records
Year released: 2012
Review online: December 15, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (6 Votes)
Debut release from Finnish act 0 X í S T whose name should be pronounced "Zero Exist". The band pedal a brand of dark, creepy doom/death metal with a melodic edge in touch with the sounds usually associated with their home country. Their sound is dynamic, and I can definitely hear shades of earlier Swallow The Sun in their sound, which is a good thing.
Production and the mix in general give Nil a modern vibe, with a mean, down-tuned low end guitar sound which sounds good albeit processed. The clean guitars feel a lot more natural and are responsible for creating a lot of the atmosphere and some of the creepier vibes shown across the album. The rhythm section I feel is particularly well done, with good sounding cymbals, and the bass works well in unison with the almost mechanical guitar tone. The vocals for the most part are good, taking the raspy growl approach. There are some clean vocals too although the jury is still out on whether they're really that necessary on the release.
For the style of music 0 X í S T play, I think it's good that the songs don't overstay their welcome, with manageable yet still long enough run times to paint their monochromatic, nightmare imagery. If there's anywhere I feel requires a little more work on Nil I would have to say that the vocal lines could have done with a little more attention, at times they're good but at others they verge on a little corny. All in all though, this is at the least worth checking out, and fans of Scandinavian doom/death metal will likely get some mileage. Definitely a promising band that I think with a little refinement could have a bright future.
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