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Review: N.I.L. - N.I.L.

Label: Battle Kommand Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 34:03
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: June 25, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)

N.I.L. (or Nihilism is Liberation) is the new project formed by Imperial after the discontinuation of Krieg following their final album 'Blue Miasma', which was released in 2006. It was originally formed as a solo project, before J. Marcheski (of one of Imperial's many side projects 'March into the Sea') joined as a permanent member shortly before the recording of this album.

With all my pre-conceptions cemented firmly in my brain before first hearing this, it's still hard not to make comparisons with Krieg upon pressing play, as the similarities are present for all to hear – especially when held up against their earlier 'pre-composed' releases (i.e. not their garage quality Ildjarn-like releases which had no rehearsals or writing before recording, such as the Patrick Bateman EP). However, there's certainly a heightened sense of droning doomy repetitiveness which erodes your eardrums this time around, similar to what you'd expect to hear if Nortt were to record an album after listening to 'Destruction Ritual' on repeat for a week straight. However, the album is certainly a bona fide black metal release at heart, utilizing a trudging slow pace that creeps slowly along throughout the album's entirety with the howling vocals and simplistic yet eerie melodies eating away at your consciousness, allowing you to ease yourself into a musically inspired catatonic-yet-aware state. There's great usage of acoustic guitar (the opening track in particular) which reminds of prime Beatrik, adding to the morbid spirit of the album and the permeating moribund aura which embeds itself into every cell of every living being in earshot.

The album's flow is upset slightly by the Big Black cover just over half way through (although, it doesn't sound like a cover per se as it's pretty bastardized, it certainly stands out due to having a lot more of a 'regular' song based sound about it when compared to the rest of the album), but they still manage to make it fit somehow without spoiling your enjoyment (unlike Krieg's cover of a Velvet Underground song on their 'The Black House' album, which stood out like a sore thumb).

It's pretty obvious that if you are a fan of Krieg's earlier work, then you will no doubt enjoy this album too. Imperial is quick to distance himself from comments that N.I.L. is merely a continuation of Krieg, but be it a continuation or not, there's no denying the quality of the material on this album and the expert songwriting abilities that are behind it. Good stuff.

More about N.I.L....
Review: N.I.L. (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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