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Review: Zemial - Nykta

Label: Hells Headbangers
Year released: 2013
Duration: 1:00:29
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: November 30, 2013
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 4.75/5 (95%) (20 Votes)

Zemial's third album, Nykta, is, at times, a fine slice of first-wave Black Metal in the Venom/Celtic Frost mold, complete with Thrash riffs, grimy vocals and an overall feeling of darkness and evil. At others, it is rife with "Space" Rock elements like Hammond organs playing in minor keys and the kinds of sound effects you would hear on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or ELP's Brain Salad Surgery. The two sides of Zemial's split personality are kept separate for much of Nykta and both are done quite well. The Black Metal is dirty and mean while the spacey stuff begs you to turn on the black light and spark up some incense. It isn't until the 14-minute track "Pharos" that Zemial brings Jekyll and Hyde together and spices up the meeting with a vaguely Middle-Eastern vibe. There are also several moments of "silence" sprinkled throughout, including the closer "Out of the Cage," which honors avant-garde composer John Cage. As with Cage's original, this song is not actual silence but the ambient sounds of the band and the environment they are in for the duration of the song. It sounds a lot like silence to me, but it is certainly open to your interpretation, which is actually the point of the piece.

Whatever your feelings about "Out of the Cage" the rest of Nykta kicks ass as it successfully blends a couple of disparate styles and, as a whole, is a listening experience unlike most of the Black Metal out there today. Fans with a yen for the different are not going to want to pass on Nykta.

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