|Review: Lyrinx - Nihilistic Purity|
Label: Insidious Poisoning Records
Year released: 2008
Originally released in: 2007
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: April 10, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
I have to say that I very much like the new breed of bands coming out and marrying so called "post metal" with Black Metal. Think Fen or Lantlôs, and mix in equal parts of ColdWorld or Nyktalgia and you'll have a pretty good idea what's going on with Lyrinx's 2007 EP Nihilistic Purity. Most often labeled as DSBM (Depressive Suicidal Black Metal), Lyrinx have, to my ears at least, enough of a "post" influence to stand apart from the crowd and distinguish themselves from the multitudes of uninspired refuse coming from both genres.
Opening with some washed out guitars and the sounds of a lose wire shorting out, Nihilistic Purity quickly establishes its DSBM feel with some distant, echoing guitars, tormented vocals and some highly melodic tremolo riffing. With the title track Lyrinx further develop their "post" atmosphere with some airy guitars, and this is a sound I could happily handle more of. Here we are dealing not so much in riffs as much as chord progressions, given over as heavily distorted open chords as often as tremolo picked, but always with the feeling of floating that is at the heart of that "post" sound. This sound is continued into "Another Life Ready to End" with its rumbling bass lines, discordant atmosphere and distant vocals which develop a kind of "post punk" feel highlighted by the bass line that rolls under the intro riffs. Once they hit the verse however they are strongly back in DSBM territory with dolorous melody lines supplied by a reverb heavy guitar. The harrowing dirge that is "Deconstruction of the Will to Live" is almost an ordeal to sit through and will wring every ounce of hope from your soul – the musical equivalent of a desperate grab toward self destruction. The feel of the album is very urban I would say; highly metallic and dry, and not at all like the natural feel of ColdWorld or Veil, instead having a sound that echoes down a long hallway or warehouse rather than across a snowy field or forest glade – this is the depression felt while surrounded by uncaring strangers in an uncaring city.
The production on Nihilistic Purity very much enhances the feel of the album and gives it that echoey "post" feel. The guitars are not brutal, nor are they heavily distorted, sounding like the bastard child of Amesoeurs self-titled opus and ColdWorld's Melancholie2, but lacking to abysmal swirling cold of the latter, and being more metal than the former. There is a constant wash of white noise lurking in the background; an edge of the conscious sound that seems to be a side effect of the guitar tone. The bass is ever present if uneventful, and the drums too do little of note, although they are far from boring. Vocally, Brennuvargr sticks very closely to the demented screeching template defined by Varg Vikernes, sounding suitably wrung out and tormented.
Do not take my many "post metal" references to badly as Nihilistic Purity has much more in common with DSBM than with Isis or their ilk (there really is no note of a more traditional(!) post metal sound here), and the atmosphere is as much to do with the production as it is the songwriting. At its barest the album is melodic Black Metal with a modern nihilistic bent, evocative of wasted overcast days in a city slum, and it is this atmosphere, along with the melodic and scathing metal on offer that make it an engaging and original disc.
Also available on CD
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