Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est REVIEWS

METAL INJECTION - TREVOR FROM BLACK DAHLIA MURDER’s 29 UNDERGROUND DEATH METAL RECOMMENDATION (IN ENGLISH)

Hey kids!  The Obituarist is here, back with another round up of killer releases from this year, each sure to decimate you into utter oblivion.  This time I’m featuring a lot more black metal, but as you’d probably expect by now, there’s plenty of brutality mixed in.  Check out the songs, read the info, and support the scene!


Abhorrent – Intransigence

Abhorrent are from another planet!  Actually, they are from Texas.  Sideways progressive and brutal death metal with otherworldly chops… these guys can play their asses off.  You may recognize the name Lyle Cooper from his time in The Faceless or his other band with Abhorrent brainchild Marlon Friday; Texas blackened grinders Absvrdist.  I sang a few crappy backing vocal parts on song on this album.  I think I brought it from a perfect 10 down to a 9 and a half at best.  Sorry guys. [Bandcamp]


Abyssal – Antikatastaseis

Welcome to the vacuum… your friends, your pets, your parents – they’re all dead.   You haven’t seen the light in so long your eyes have become white with cataracts as you are left to slowly spin in the endlessness of a starless space.  Abyssal truly live up to their name here, purveying absolutely hellish and unhinged avante garde Death Metal that will suffocate you beneath blankets of atmospheric blackness.  Listen now and get in on one of the finest releases of the year. [ Bandcamp]


Ad Nauseam – Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est

Do you like Gorguts?  How about Artificial BrainUlcerate?  If you ticked any of those boxes, Ad Nauseam is the band for you.  Dissonant, experimental, mind bending death metal from Italy that will dazzle you into a drooling catatonic state… these guys are experts at what they do and deserve your attention in 2015.


Alda – Passage

Yessir… this is damn good.  At the outset, the harmonized male and female clean vocals that open the album are haunting, with a somewhat folky sound to them that was unexpected; a pleasant and welcome surprise.  The presence of female bassist/cellist is felt immediately; her vocals and cello lines accent the album’s nature themed beauty in a refreshing way.  Some patience may be required when approaching Alda, as Passage is in no hurry to jump into extremity, these druids prefer to take the time to build up some anticipation.  Once they do kick in, an organic Cascadian brand of black metal storms forth from the speakers that could please Agalloch, or Falls Of Rauros fans… it’s earthy, epic and slightly raw; give them an inch and you’ll find yourself lost in the immense woodlands of Alda’s home state of Washington without compass nor guide. [ eisenton.de ]


Bulldozing Bastard – Under The Ram 

These spike clad German warriors play bottle breaking speed metal/black thrash that will incite a riot at the drop of a dime.  These ripping wildcards surely like Italian 80’s legends Bulldozer; who they obviously took their name from, and offer an exciting jean vest donning tribute.  Under The Ram is part Motorhead, part VenomMidnight and Chapel fans will certainly be into this.  Put on your fingerless gloves and get ready to bang your heads! [ hrrshop.de ]


Castrensis – Heirarchies

These Danish dervishes have assembled a stunning album in their Sevared records debut Hierarchies, a crushing amalgamation of styles that will undoubtedly see year-end accolade from those craving a fresh sound in the overcrowded world of death metal.  Pulling no punches, Castrensis are hell bent on turning some unsuspecting heads in 2015, culling their multifaceted arsenal from a stylistic melting pot marrying both the familiar and the not so familiar; ranging in approach from blood covered brutality to the slightly avante garde; all dexterously handled in a most refreshingly modern and razor-sharp manner that is taking the brutal death airwaves by storm.  With the ability to deliver catchy tremolo riffing ala Danish stalwarts Panzerchrist one moment, churning Devourment-esque breakdowns the next, and an off kilter experimental edge that is reminiscent of Usipian or Emeth; this Danish death crew is out for blood… but not without an impressive show of intelligence to round out their shapeshifting canon of corpse mincing shred.  When excited to their most speedy and combustive state… Castrensis unleash a veritable torrent of voracious technical deathgrind that recalls Genocide Landscape era Serial Butcher; grotesque, murderous, and surgically exact. Complimented by a deep and gory vocal approach that I personally love; these young Danish gentlemen have got serious skills and I eagerly look forward to whatever moves they make in the distant future. [ sevared.com ]


Dead in the Manger – Cessation

20 buck spin continues to surprises me.  I for some reason have them pegged in my subconscious as a sheerly stoner rock label, possibly due to the label being named after a Pentagram song, which is just not the case at all.  Vastum, Cauldron Black Ram, and the rowdy Bone Sickness are all absolutely killer bands and all part of their impressive and varied roster.  These particular hellions offer a somewhat sludge injected take on depressive black metal laced with a sizeable helping of grindcore aggro.  Dead In The Manger wield some pretty filthy sounding bottom end to unleash when they feel the time is right; slightly reminiscent of black doomers Dragged Into Sunlight.  The move deftly and through their creatively arranged songs, varying in speed and approach, but there is always a hateful ugliness and overdriven filth to it all, part introspective Krallice, part venom spitting Fukpig.  Cool stuff! [ 20buckspinshop.com ]


Death Curse – Death Curse

When I hear Death Curse’s self-titled album; Repulsion, Slaughter (Canada), Rigor Mortis and Atrocity (US) all come to mind, as do Ohio sleaze merchants Nekrofilth who have a similarly juvenile but endearing lyrical approach.  I feel these freaks embody the perfect Razorback records band for 2015… the artwork and morbid Impetigo style fun level are on par with past RR classics like Ghoul and Frightmare.  The distortion on the guitar, or lack there of, gives it such a proto-death metal, tape trading demo days type of lovable vibe to it that is totally retro.  It has a timeless rawness to it.  I would go see a show with these fellas and Ryan Waste’s BAT in a friggin’ heartbeat. [ Razorbackrecords.com ]


Disgrace – True Enemy

Old school straight forward death metal and street wise Los Angeles hardcore collide with monstrous results on True Enemy.  Part Bolt Thrower, part Madball.  These dudes are hard as nails.  The have a great death metal element, but they have that tough guy band swagger to them that makes a band like No Zodiac work. Filthy death metal guitar tones playing awesome thugged out grooves… this is a cross pollinating of styles I can live with. [ AllinMerch ]


Ectovoid – Dark Abstraction

Awesome old death metal with some Incantation and Autopsy leanings from good old Arkansas… these fellas are young but channel the web-covered spirit of ancient death metal to great effect.  I had the pleasure of playing alongside Ectovoid once and they were immense live… I recommend you go see them if given the the chance!  If you like Dead Congregation, Necros Christos, Dominus Xul, or Sonne Adam, these guys will suit you like blood-encrusted glove. [ Hellthrasher. ]


False – Untitled

This is just killer… really glad I was exposed to this by a kind soul following me on Twitter.  False play a varied kind of modern black metal, combining the angular, jagged, and spastic style of discordant legends Deathspell Omega with an ethereal synth driven edge with a result that is gripping and at the same time distinctly American.  At full blast, False sounds like a skeleton driven freight train about to derail… they are masters of creating an unnerving tension that just grips the listener by the earlobes.  They also know how to slow it down with some nice open sounding passages that are just huge.  Also, I feel inclined to give props to the vocalist, who reminds me of Smeagol from the old Hobbit cartoon I used to watch every Easter as a youth.  If you like the aforementioned Deathspell Omega, Plebian Granstand, Necrite, Numinous or the like, this will scar you in all the right ways. [ Erodingwinds.com ]


Ghost Bath – Moonlover

This album really took me by surprise.  Ghost Bath play depressive and somewhat Cascadian Post-Black Metal to die for!  I had heard that these guys were from China, turns out it was some kind of ruse by some bored North Dakotans who probably never thought their band would take off.  A fine contender for your best of 2015 year end list, Moonlover is host to swirling, emotive, fogged out guitars that will slowly weave you into the fabrics of their ancient Chinese secret universe.  Longwinded mostly instrumental compositions expertly build and release tension, taking the listener on a journey within.  The tortured banshee-esque vocals by mainman 丹尼斯 have a very familiar depressive style to them; somewhere in the neighborhood of Silencer or Bethelehem… just totally harrowing.  Wisely, the shrieks are set down somewhat low in the mix to keep them from being overbearing.   These young alchemists have that emotive magic that makes japanse screamo veterans Envy great.  They sound like they are playing for their lives and every little turn of it is just wrought with an almost palpable amount of feeling.  I guess these dudes get compared to Deafheaven often, and I can see that but I feel like Ghost Bath has their own rightful place in the scheme of things.  Some of the melodies the band chooses almost sound nostalgic; they can take the wind out of you with their impeccable ability to summon the bittersweet essence of memory… moments that were beautiful and innocent that are now gone with the wind… a bent up photograph of better times fading right in your aging hands.  Towers are falling, the clouds are weeping and Ghost Bath are Eazy-E’s face in the sky in the end of the “Crossroads” video; ruling everything. [ Bandcamp ]


Gravesite – Horrifying Nightmares

Italy strikes again with another OSDM band that sounds like it was spawned in the heyday of early Swedish death metal history; the newest lesion covered legions you’ll love to loathe, Gravesite!  These guys have a darker sound than some of their peers, complimented by the demented vocalizations of mouthpiece Gabri, whose ravings resemble the legendary Christ Reifert of Autopsy fame.  I think these Italians are really good and deserve some attention… the songs have a pretty decent variety and flow to them that keeps me coming back.  Bust out your stationary and your dual cassette tape deck…. It’s time to be transported back to the days of death metal tape trading and Xeroxed zines. [ Xtreemmusic.com ]


Gravitational Distortion – The Void Between Worlds

These sick Canadians have come out of nowhere with one of the best slam releases of the year… one that will see them to the top of the heap of the overcrowded genre.  The production is just huge and perfect for what Gravitational Distortion dish out… thick, unrelenting grooves and slams that will smush you into absolute oblivion.  There is nothing new here in any way whatsoever, but its expertly delivered in a way that will see them mentioned in the same breath as genre legends Abominable Putridity and Kraanium… if you slam, this is the demented slab you’ve been waiting for. [ Bandcamp ]


HaarThe Wayward Ceremony

The Wayward Ceremony is a surefire banger for 2015, chock full of killer Scottish black metal that is experimental, atmospheric and downright bad ass.  The twisting, obsidian music is propelled by a vocal that is both clearly understood and venomous as hell, recalling those of the polish Massemord or Ofermod’s excellent Tiamtu… just really remarkable and impossible to ignore.  Deathspell Omega comparisons are inevitable, but I think these Scotts are one of the finest examples of reach of their dissonant influence; Haar have taken what they’ve learned from DsO expanded on it, creating an album wrought with an apocalyptic atmosphere that should not be overlooked by those seeking fresh and intelligent sounding black metal. [ Bandcamp ]


Hæthen – Shaped By Aeonlian Winds

Hæthen are robe clad black metal men of the woods from Philly, PA, bringing forth a well written album of earthy atmospheric tuneage that is sure to excite the senses.  Shaped By Aeonlian Winds is organic in feel but a bit faster than Alda, who I touched on earlier… although similarly nature themed, these guys have more in common with Lake Of Blood and Torrid Husk, melodic but still aggressive and blastbeat prone.   The excellent autumnal feel of the album is complimented by an elegant cover art that will help transport you to Hæthen’s wooded and majestic realm,  You can snatch this up for free from their bandcamp, but it’s worth a buy, trust me. [Bandcamp]


Kraanium – Chronicles Of Perversion

You’ve just got to love Kraanium.  They are the undisputed kings of slam… just the coolest wiggers on earth!  Really, I enjoy listening to anything that Norwegian twins Mats and Martin Funderud touch (see also: Fermented Masturbation and dino-slammers Dragging Entrails), they always bring the subwoofing mindless good time I am looking for in a slam album.  Monstrous downtuned riffs, huge monolithic slams and the grossest vocals this side of a flat brimmed baseball cap amount to a formula that just proves unbeatable here.  With ultraviolent lyrical themes sure to please the most jaded gorehound (see “Rusty Knife Defloration” and “Sodomize Her Headless Corpse”), Chronicles Of Perversion is the gross out you can’t live without this Fall! [ Comatose Music ]


Micawber – The Gods Of Outer Hell

Muscular, well-produced death metal from right here in the good ol’ midwest.  Hard to believe a label hasn’t swept these guys up yet… I could see this being on Comatose or Sevared records easily!  These guys have an excellent groove that recalls Vader or Blood Red Throne and blast with the best of ‘em.  I also hear traces of the early Decapitated output in Micawber’s explosive arsenal.  It’s thick, hammering downtuned death metal with deep vocals that knows how to break things down without going into slam territory… I think Aeon fans could dig this.  Okay, I have to mention the elephant in the room: the cover art.  It looks like a demon mass from the sky is kidnapping a wizard grandpa from his mage grandson… Funny.  Anyhow, don’t let it deter you from the great time you’ll have listening to these Green Bay, Wisconsin slaughterers, they’re truly sick! [ Bandcamp ]


Morbid Vomit – Return To The Crypts

This is the best old school Swedish style death metal record of the year… hands down!  Well, these guys are Finnish, and it’s more of a discography collection of releases from 2012 and 2013… if you want to get technical, but it crushes heads none the less!  The sessions do sound very similar, had I not seen the liner notes of the CD, I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t conceived as one chunk of music.  The tombstone on the back of the packaging alludes to a break up in 2014, but Metal Archives has them listed as active… let’s hope they’ve liked the inevitable praise garnered from this little collection CD and want to make us a bonafide album.  It’s so goddamn catchy, its unreal.,, I think Morbid Vomit is right on par here with Bloodbath and Entrails in terms of creating quality output… this actually strikes me as having more hooks than either band has had in some time.  The vocal is really strong and very striking… dude has a really big voice that just booms… you can’t ignore it.  He drills those lyrics right into your head.  This disc grabs you from second one… right out of the gates and you’re off to the races.  The requisite HM-2 fuzzy guitars sound massive… they create a goddamn wall with the bass guitar.  For one last touch of awesomeness, the finale of this phenomenal slab of death is a previously unreleased Ghost cover tune; turning “Prime Mover” into a swedeath ripper.  A clever idea, and I feel it worked well.  Morbid Vomit… we want more of whatever you’re gonna barf out… you do your thing… we’ll get the saw dust. [ Blast Head Records ]


Nuke – Delta City Demo

Nuke will decimate poser ears!  They brandish a deadly brand of stone washed denim vest wearing Heavy/Thrash/Speed metal from Detroit that has zero to do with anything modern and middle finger attitude in spades.  They have a rad lyrical theme playing up the wasteland-esque nature of modern ghost town Detroit city, complete with a few nods to our most famous fictional export, Robocop!  Featuring an all-star cast of miscreants from some of Michigan’s finest rabble rousers including Shitfucker, Perversion, Anguish, Temple of Void and Acid Witch, the Delta City demo was allegedly recorded in 2013, but has been on ice until April of this year, when it was released on cassette by Dystopian Dogs and made available digitally through the band’s bandcamp site.  Nuke is just sheer lawlessness… if you had set out to record the punk zombie posse from the front of the movie Return Of The Living Dead jamming some pointy-ass BC Rich guitars, this is what you’d surely get.  If you can back Iron Angel, Bulldozer or early (pre-pirate) Running Wild and seek a retro metal rush, these sickos will burn your shadow to the fucking wall! [ Bandcamp ]


Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs

“No blades!  No bows!  Leave your weapons here!” This is some Robin Hood shit, no doubt. Aria Of Vernal Tombs has quickly become one of my favorite black metal albums of the year… it’s just stunning.  Gorgeous and medieval, Obsequiae will transport you from your bedroom to sun-soaked golden fields of ancient times, somewhere far, far away.  The power this record possesses to envelope the listener is just undeniable…  I dare you to smoke some weed and even try to not like this.  The songwriting is highly narrative; and will take you on a great quest, one so vast that the length of the album plays out like an epic movie.  There is some down time between the actual black metal songs, some quiet and peaceful noodlings on ancient sounding instruments that will bring out your inner bard.  Where I would skip this kind of an interlude on a Necros Christos album, these segues are really well done and don’t wear at my patience.  Instead, they ramp up the whole transcendental and fantastic feel of the bigger picture… authenticating Obsequiae’s sagging wooden bridge to the past.  When I play this I see the sun setting red over the silhouettes of magnificent castles, bejeweled crowns, and feasts of plenty … I see majestic lands unspoiled by the hands of mongrel humanity.  Where a lot of bands flirt with the idea of sounding medieval, Obsequiae just nail it in a really awesome way.  I like the rawer old school production here, it sounds dated, as if it was intentionally meant to be stuck in the mid 90’s…  it really matches the cover art; I can see this coming out on Black Mark in 1995 as opposed to an American label in 2015.  I suppose that some comparison to The Mantle-era Agalloch could be drawn, but that’s really the only tie to the modern world I can see. The chorus dipped guitars have a hazy sound that reminds of early Abigor, and are constantly soaring with harmonies that would make Swedish gods Anata proud.  Competent sounding programmed drums are well hidden by the constant barrage of guitar melodies… you won’t be distracted by them, hell, you won’t even notice the drums aren’t real until well after you’ve fallen in love with this album. [ 20buckspin ]


Psychonaut 4 – Dipsomania

The only band anyone has heard of from the Eurasian country of Georgia; Psychonaut 4 return in 2015 with a haunting rocker of an album in Dipsomania, picking up where 2012’s Have a Nice Trip left off. If you’re into the whole suicidal depressive black metal thing, these Georgians do it just as well if not better than their Scandinavian peers.  Lifelover seem to be at the top of their list of influence, but Psychonaut 4 tend to rock it out a little more than the defunct swedes; with some truly headbangable riffs that channel the finest moments of Forgotten Tomb’s output.  The vocals of Graf Von Baphomet are blood curdling; he shrieks, howls and bellows his insanity across the span of Dipsomania, driving the suicidal feel of the music home with reckless abandon.  If you like SDBM and/or hate yourself immensely, grab this slab immediately. [ Talheim Records ]


Putridity – Ignominious Atonement

Putridity may very well be the most brutal thing on planet earth… this album is just annihilating!  Crazy, teched out and fucked up riffs tear by at one zillion miles an hour, making your head spin around, pinch harmonics blazing the whole way.  If there’s one thing I am a sucker for in brutal death metal, its use of an exorbitant amount of pinch harmonics…. Sqwee Sqwee Sqwuh Sqwee!  There they go again… all day long and I absolutely adore it.  The breakdowns on this sucker are just unreal.  Enmity and Disgorge are influences here, and they do their forefathers proud… this utterly insane, twisted guttural death metal of the highest order.  This is a milestone release for the genre that will go down in the brutal hall of fame next to classics like Consume The Forsaken and Psalms Of The Moribund… it’s the new bench mark of how crushing you can be.  As you may recall in my recent interview with now departed drummer Brutal Dave, the line up on this bestial display of violence has already split down the middle, leaving the band currently without a skinsman or vocalist.  Fellow fans, let’s pray the band can respond to such massive losses and will continue to make music of such a high caliber in the coming years.  For now we can worship the pulverizing might of Ignominious Atonement! [ Bandcamp ]


Sulphur Aeon – Gateway To The Antisphere

I am something of a late comer to this album, but goddamn, it’s a mammoth one and a possible contender for death metal album of the year.  For the uninitiated, Sulphur Aeon play humongous and atmospheric death themed after HP Lovecraft’s masterwork Call Of Cthulhu.  Demigod era Behemoth  and hometown Detroit heroes Konkeror come to mind… these dudes are similarly majestic, powerful, and sure to crush any non-believers into cosmic dust.  Take a listen and get this now… the artwork and packaging are dynamite, to boot. [ Van Records ]


Torturerama – Close Encounters of the Morbid Kind

I find the combo of old school Swedish style death metal and gore lyrics to be virtually irresistible, which is definitely the case here with Belgium’s Torturerama.  In my world, the more gore the better… I guess it’s the 15 year old inside.  With a nice thick production having the obligatory HM-2 pedal distortion intact, Torturerama deliver a rowdy death metal banger of an album that will cause Grave fans to rejoice. [BigCartel ]


Unbreakable Hatred – Ruins

I have a previous album by these French Canadian death metal upstarts and it’s decent, but with Ruins, Unbreakable Hatred have really upped the ante on all fronts.   Dying Fetus and early Misery Index style riffing is quite prevalent and done very well.  There is a lot of old school slam in Unbreakable Hatred’s impressive repertoire; the grooves at times recalling Driven To Conquer era Internal Bleeding or the criminally underrated Pyrexia album System Of The Animal.   If you want brutal death that will get your head bobbing but doesn’t just mindlessly chug on Z tuned 8 string guitars, these Canadians just might be the thugs you’ve been searching for. [Indiemerch]


Visera Infest – Verrucous Carcinoma

Viscera Infest play crazy overdriven Disgorge (MEX) worshiping death grind all the way from Japan.  These gorehounds deliver the gruesome goods… as the fucked up cover will probably tell you, you’re in for one disgusting ride.  These putrid Asians purvey cranked blasting violence that will only appeal to the most depraved underground dwellers… sonically, this album is just mental, it sounds all the instrumental tracks are slightly peaking, giving it a really hot, deranged feel.  The snare is straight from Oscar The Grouch’s trash can… it’s overwhelmingly brutal.  Snarling, snorting, vomit faced vocals that are just foul… imagine a shambling mound of gore in the vocal booth with headphones on and a scab incrusted lyric sheet and you have Viscera Infest.  It’s vile, repulsive, horrifying death metal that will send 99% of you running the other way.  Good luck! [ StoreEnvy ]


Visceral Decay – Implosion Psychosis

Let’s get one thing straight… I will fall for the pile of corpses album cover every time.  I will check out every single brutal looking album that features it, and it seems like there’s at least one emerging a week.  These Ecuadorians play uncompromising brutal death metal that could appeal to fans of early Decrepit Birth or fellow countrymen Digging Up, and have in my opinion, made the best pile of bodies album of the year!  The CD is only $9 from Force Fed Merch, your connection to the Indonesian underground here in America! [ BigCartel ]


Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed

Wiegedood… the name looks weird on paper but it’s Dutch for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome… it doesn’t get any more metal than crib death!  Featuring members of Amenra and Oathbreaker, De Doden Hebben Het Goed is a well-executed album chock full of whirling guitars are slightly Cascadian sounding at times; some of what Wiegedood does could be likened to American black metal heroes Wolves In The Throne Room.  Bleak, ominious, and depressive; Wiegedood expertly paint a melodic black metal tapestry with a palette of harrowing grays.  Think Der Weg Einer Freiheit. Woods Of Desolation.  Not the most original stuff in the world by any means, but it’s well done.

METAL INJECTION - AUSTIN'S TOP 20 ALBUMS (IN ENGLISH)

Hey everyone! I’m new-ish contributor to Metal-Injection, and some of you may have seen some of my Tech-Death Tuesday weekly posts the last few months. Or you might have caught some of the song premieres and album streams I’ve done since starting here as well. I’m hoping to continue bringing fresh new music to your attention all next year. For now, here are my Top 20 favorite records of the year. A few you will know, but hopefully you’ll find something new you were entirely unaware existed! I’m going to keep the verbiage accompanying most of the bands listed to a bare minimum as its a very busy time of year for me. Just trust me that each record is on here for a damn good reason. Also I’m not used to doing numbered year end list so the placement of who is in which slot is fairly interchangeable to me. Yet something I agonized over! Without further ado…

 

20. The Crinn-Shadowbreather

Mathcore titans The Crinn have been around for awhile and sharpening their schizophrenic skill with each release. Shadowbreather stands as their strongest release yet.

19. Zillah-Serpentine Halos

Scottland based unorthodox death metal unit Zillah return with their first release since 2005. Serpentine Halos is a brilliant dissonant focused technical death metal record unlike anything else I’ve heard this year.

18. Maruta- Remain Dystopian

With Remain Dystopian, Maruta have yet again released a technical leaning deathgrind record that stands head and shoulders above their peers.

17. Maladie- Still

Maladie are a 9 man super-group from Europe and Still is their second full-length. Still consists of a complex blend of black metal, death metal, and technical death metal. The band utilizes a dense three guitar line-up and a mix of growls, screams, and ethereal singing. With saxophone, piano, and cello enhancing most of the songs with an extra layer of rich melodies. Ambitious and eclectic, Still is an incrediblely epic journey of a record well worth investing time in.

16. Oblivonized- Life Is A Struggle, Give Up

Oblivionized have been kicking around for awhile now, and finally got it together to release something more substantial than a split or EP with their first full length Life is A Struggle, Give Up. Life is a struggle, give up, is a caustic hellhole comprised of mathcore, grind, and death metal forming a singular weapon of death. Jam it if your down with ugly, oppressive, and chaotic music.

15. Repulsive Dissection- Church Of The Five Precious Wounds

Hands down one of the greatest technical brutal death metal records I’ve ever heard. Church Of The Five Precious Wounds is deliciously disgusting and delightfully insane.

14. Pomegranate Tiger-Boundless

If you like instrumental metal like Scale The Summit and Animals As Leaders, you simply have to check out Boundless.  It’s definitely top-tier stuff that continues to blow me away with each listen.

13. Blurring-Blurring

Technical grindcore with a blackened and deathly touch featuring grindcore legends such as Erik Burke (Sulaco, ex-Brutal Truth, Kalibas, etc) and Dan Lilker (ex- Brutal Truth./etc) Releases such as this are hard to find in grindcore, Blurring are one of only a few bands taking grind to such creative heights.  I’ve had my eye on these guys for a few years and first wrote about them last year over at nocleansinging.com. The riffing on Blurring is unreal, the drumming is fierce, and the vocals are fucking sinister. This is murder music.  As pitch black as tar, and twice as suffocating.

12. Antlion- The Prescient

The Prescient came out of nowhere as I’d never heard of Antlion before but I’m certainly a fan now. It’s a technical death metal record, but a very diverse and prog oriented one that also grooves. Definitely a band to keep on eye on for the future.

11. Irreversible Mechanism-Infinite Fields

Yet another group who came out of virtually nowhere that continues to get played frequently by me.  Infinite Fields owes a massive debt to Obscura, The Faceless, and Theory In Practice, but the songwriting and playing is so damn phenomenal I really don’t care if it’s slightly derivative in an obvious way. Orchestral and black metal elements find their way into the music of the songs as well.

10. Ad Nauseam-Nihil Quam Vacuitas  Ordinatum Est

Do you like experimental and skronky dissonant focused death metal bands? If so, this is your new favorite record. You can thank me later. One of the most criminally underrated and overlooked records of the year.

9. Alkaloid- The Malkuth Grimoire

While The Malkuth Grimoire didn’t turn out to be the record I expected, it still stands as an impressive forward-thinking progressive death metal record that boggles my mind.

8. Okazaki Fragments- Abandoned

If deathgrind mixed with a Gorguts feel and style to it sounds interesting to you, then check out Abandoned. The band broke up after it was released, but it’s one hell of a swansong that for me at least, will stand the test of time.

7. Dendritic Arbor-Romantic Love

Dendritic Arbor released the most interesting mix between black metal and grind I’ve heard to date on Romantic Love among bands crossbreeding both styles together. Don’t sleep on this one.

6. Cerebric Turmoil- Neural Net Meltdown

Like Wormed? Like Psyopus? Like Cephalic Carnage. What if I told you that this really weird band called Cerebric Turmoil sounds like all 3 of those bands blended into one vicious body? Neural Net Meltdown is bat-shit insanity that’s not for the faint of heart.

5. Rivers Of Nihil-Monarchy

Rivers Of Nihil deserve every ounce of attention they’ve been receiving the last few years. Monarchy is a massive achievement for Rivers Of Nihil, and also quite the left turn evolution soundwise from their last record that I didn’t see coming.

4. Hate Eternal- Infernus

You know Hate Eternal, I know Hate Eternal. The real question is, is this a Hate Eternal record worth investing time in? The answer is a clear and resounding yes. Infernus is certainly the best sounding Hate Eternal record to date, as odd production issues have always annoyed me on many of their records.. It’s also one hell of a record and worth followup to Phoenix Amongst The Ashes, which I would argue is the best Hate Eternal record from start to finish. I didn’t expect Hate Eternal to be able to create a follow up that matches up to that, but Infernus surprised me and certainly does.

3. Gorod- A Maze Of Recycled Creeds

A Maze Of Recycled Creeds is yet another jaw-dropping release from Gorod. But at this point, it’s almost a given that what they release is going to be pure technical death metal ecstasy. All hail the kings of tech-death.

2. Between The Buried And Me- Coma Ecliptic

I’ve always been a big fan of Between The Buried And Me, but I can admit to being less than blow away by some of their past few records. Parallax II did a lot to put them back on track and moving in a new direction. Coma Ecliptic is the logical successor to where Parallax II went, but with a smoother  prog-rock and larger experimental focus to it. This record sees the group trying a lot of new things and seems to my ears to be the biggest shift in their sound for some time now. Which is what I’ve been wanting them to do. If you passed this one over expecting something very similar to past efforts, you’d be mistaken. Give it a shot.

1. Imperial Triumphant- Abyssal Gods

Imperial Triumphant have grown in strength and sickness with each release. And Abyssal Gods continues their rabid evolution as one of the most disturbing and memorable black metal bands around. Abyssal Gods is a modern black metal classic that fans of Deathspell Omega and classical music such as Penderecki will go nuts over. I’m really not sure why this record isn’t popping up on more year end lists. I guess everyone is just fucking up. Don’t be one of those people. Jam this if you somehow missed it this year. You won’t regret it.

METAL-FI - ALEX'S TOP METAL ALBUMS OF 2015 (IN ENGLISH)

Despite starting off really slow, 2015 turned out to be another great year for metal, particularly its back half which saw a flurry of banner releases come out all within a few weeks of each other. Also, I found that unlike past years, where one particular sub-genre or major release seemed to dominate the headlines, 2015 had a lot of strong releases across the entire extreme metal spectrum. So whether you are into doom, death, black, or some combination of the two (…or three – Dave), there was something for everyone this year.

Looking back, I didn’t get to review nearly as much music as I really wanted too, mainly because Dave and I spent a lot of time working on the forum and other behind the scenes activities. Speaking of which, I can’t thank you all enough for making the forum a truly special place to talk about metal, production, and everything else in between. And I’d also like to give a big shout out to the entire AMG community at large who have been nothing but gracious to us, and have allowed both Dave and I to occasionally stink up everybody’s favorite metal review site now and then with our Angry Metal-Fi series of articles. We’ll have more in-store for you in ’16 so stay tuned. Alright, let’s do this!


Native Construct - Quiet World

Native Construct – Quiet World

Bar none, my favorite progressive metal record of the year. Native Construct’s Quiet World is simply brilliant on every level, from its concept subject matter about an eccentric mute that creates an entire universe in his head as an elaborate coping mechanism, to its meticulous yet approachable construction, to even its incredibly stellar DR9 production (all on a college student budget mind you). The backstory behind this record is that between 2011 and 2013 three Berklee Music students, Robert Eden, Myles Yang, and Max Harchik, got together for a few friendly jam sessions between classes. The outgrowth of theses jam sessions became a full-time endeavor, culminating into the debut you see before you. The music itself is a confluence of Dream Theater, Haken, Between the Buried and Me, and even Meshuggah in some places, all of which help make Quiet World an incredibly unique and memorable journey.

Mgla - Exercises In Futility

Mgla – Exercises In Futility

The adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” most certainly applies to Mgla, as their third full length record, Exercises In Futility, follows the exact same riff-driven black metal formula established by the prior two. Even so, Exercises is just a monster, and without a doubt M.’s finest work to date. This record is forty-two odd minutes of Grade A horn-raising fun with every single track containing some of the catchiest riffs you’ll hear all year. Moreover, its production is a big step up from With Hearts Toward None, as Exercises clocks in a very healthy DR8, sounding really punchy throughout. Let’s hope this trend continues as Mgla has quickly become one of Poland’s finest exports to date.

AD NAUSEM - Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est

AD NAUSEAM – Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est

AD NAUSEAM‘s debut, Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est (“There is nothing but ordered emptiness”) is a stellar example of that classic dissonant tech death formula pioneered by bands like Gorguts and more recently, Ulcerate. But to call Nihil just another Gorguts clone would not be fair to these most very talented Italians. What I found particularly fascinating about this release is that though there are plenty of strange rhythmic and dissonant tomfoolery lurking behind every measure, the songs follow a fairly straightforward path, with plenty of moments where the band takes a break to just rock out to some meaty breakdown or killer lead. Production wise, this is an extremely dynamic record to boot, clocking in at DR9! With that said, there are a few mix issues as the vocals are set far too back for my tastes and sound like they were recorded through a paper cup. But even with that said, this is still one of the best death metal records of the year regardless, and I can’t wait to hear what they have in store next.

Akhys - The Dreaming I

Akhlys – The Dreaming I

Akhlys’ The Dreaming I may very well be the best black metal record of the year. It is the brainchild of Nightbringer’s Naas Alcameth, and combines Nightbringer’s signature high-speed tremolo driven atmosphere with a sort of quasi-Mitochondrion denseness. And like with other Nightbringer releases, Alcameth imbues this unholy exercise with a very strong sense of ritualism, with the whole album coming off as more ceremony than actually music. The experience is simultaneously disturbing and intoxicating, with each track featuring a number of extremely catchy melodic leads in between Alcameth’s high-pitched screams and buzz. In fact, the only aspect of this record that prevents it from being my album of the year is its lackluster production. Obviously, its hypercompression and brickwall limiting lends to the record’s intrinsic sonic claustrophobia that Alcameth was clearly striving for, but it is way over the top and hurts more than helps. If the The Dreaming I had just a few more points of dynamics to it, it would truly be a transcendent release.

Locrian - Infinite Dissolution

Locrian – Infinite Dissolution

Infinite Dissolution is without a doubt Locrian’s magnum opus. The band has basically infused their patented eeriness codified in The Clearing & Final Epoch with the accessibility found in Return to Annihilation. On top of that, it features some really great DR9 production courtesy of one of my favorite mastering engineers on the planet right now, Brad Boatright of Audiosiege. As you can imagine, being a noise based release, Dissolution has tons of processing effects layered on top of the mix, and Brad did an impeccable job balancing all of them. Make note: you will go buy this record on vinyl and then politely explain to everyone you did it for the master when in reality you did it for the album’s cover. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.

Misþyrming - Söngvar elds og óreiðu

Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu

Iceland has always been a fertile ground for high-quality black metal, and Misþyrming’s debut, Söngvar elds og óreiðu (“Songs of Fire and Chaos”), is a shining testament to that fact. As I stated in my review, Songs’ beauty is in its simplicity, which consists mainly of Deathspell Omega onslaughts with a sprinkling of doom, groove, and atmospherics added to the mix. The record ebbs and flows seamlessly, creating a very fluid listening experience that you will want to repeat again and again. And despite being basically bricked (DR6), the album’s production is still noteworthy nevertheless, with H.R.H’s impeccable drum performance a highlight in its own right. Best of all, the album is “name your own price” via their official Bandcamp page. Grab it.

Enshine - Singularity

Enshine – Singularity

Steel Druhm’s album of the year; for good reason too, as Enshine’s Singularity is an absolute brilliant display of the melo-death/doom aesthetic. Steel describes this record as “lush” and I couldn’t agree more. Singularity is simply epic on every conceivable level, with never a dull moment to be had as you make your way through these nine glorious tracks. Haunting, cosmic, and in many respects, beautiful in its own melancholic way, Enshine’s Singularity is well, just that. For all the nitty gritty details, read Steel’s fantastic review.

Abyssal - Antikatastaseis

Abyssal – Antikatastaseis

I’m going to out on a limb here and claim that Abyssal’s Antikatastaseis may very well be Profound Lore’s greatest release to date. Fair warning though: this record is not for everyone, especially if your favorite brand of extreme metal is heavily riff dependent. U.K.’s Abyssal dabble in the fine art of atmospheric blackened death, in the same vein as Portal and Antediluvian. I want you to imagine that somehow you find yourself lost in a sonic desert where rhythm and melody are extremely scarce resources. As you trek across this desert looking for any discernible melody to listen to, you are bombarded by terrestrial downpours of dissonance and sonic sandstorms made out of blast beat and buzz. And just when you think you are about to go mad from the swirling dervish of sonic chaos that constantly surrounds you, out of nowhere, a mirage of some sublime melody appears that your ears instantly gravitate to. Eventually though, it quickly dissipates before you could fully absorb it, and you find yourself back in the sonic desert – afraid, confused, and alone. That’s Antikatastaseis.

Serpents Lair - Circumambulating the Stillborn

Serpents Lair – Circumambulating the Stillborn

Serpents Lair are a Danish black metal band that were featured on some rare compilation cassette that you probably don’t own nor ever heard of. Anyway, this cassette circumambulated around all the usual suspects (Oh, I see what you did there. -Dave), creating quite a lot of underground buzz in the process. Well, the hype machine got it right this time since Circumambulating the Stillborn is nothing short of spectacular. This is probably the best Deathspell Omega record that isn’t Deathspell Omega (Who knows? Maybe DsO is on sabbatical in Denmark? -Dave). And that’s not even the best part. First off, this record is another “name your own price” digital download via their Bandcamp page which is a miracle unto itself. Secondly, Stillborn is one of the best sounding black metal records of the year. Produced by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio (Watain‘s sound guy), this record is just brimming with life, clocking in at a healthy DR10. Do yourself a favor and go download this record now, it is truly one of the hidden gems of 2015.

 

Horrendous - Anareta

Horrendous – Anareta

Album of the year. Easy. When you combine incredible craftsmanship with top notch production, you get a one of a kind record like HorrendousAnareta. Instead of summarizing this death metal masterpiece once again, I implore you to read either my full review or L. Saunders’ for a complete breakdown. In short though, Anareta is an absolute beast of a record and one that should be a part of every metal-head’s collection. I will leave you with this: I think one more record like this one will firmly establish Damien Herring and Co. as the number one extreme metal act on the planet. Let’s just hope that Horrendous guitarist, vocalist, and engineer extraordinaire, Damien Herring, continues his fervor for producing dynamic records as the band slowly conquers the natural world. Cross your fingers.

GRIND ON THE ROAD (IN ITALIAN)

L’evoluzione musicale in questi ultimi vent’anni ha originato sonorità che trent’anni fa sarebbero risultate impensabili. Protendere verso un genere musicale fondato sull’estremizzazione sonora, l’incorporazione di dissonanze, tempi dispari ed atmosfere soffocanti risulta oggi uno dei leitmotiv più eccitanti del death metal. Tale scuola di pensiero che molto deve a numi tutelari come Immolation, Incantation e Gorguts ha ora intaccato pure il Bel Paese: ecco dunque gli Ad Nauseam, che presentano il loro debutto sulla lunga distanza.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est ci pone la difficile scelta di come procedere durante l’ascolto. Un approccio scettico probabilmente sarebbe più deleterio ed inutile che altro ma anche un’analisi esageratamente entusiasta della novità rischia di non rendere merito oggettivo al lavoro. Ebbene, cercando di essere più oggettivi del solito possiamo subito dire che non abbiamo tra le mani un cattivo lavoro, anzi. I ragazzi di Schio dimostrano oggi una completezza sonora molto più convincente rispetto alle due tracce presentate anticipatamente, esageratamente Ulcerate-oriented e prive di mordente, sfornando una dose massiccia di death moderno che ben si equilibra tra le varie influenze: gli Ad Nauseam riprendono diversi spunti dai già citati neozelandesi e dai Gorguts mescolandoli con una certa tendenza all’astrattismo propria dei Baring Teeth. I pezzi risultano ben bilanciati tra le cariche al fulmicotone e i brevi break incorporati qui e là, la voce varia quel tanto che basta per non doversi lamentare del solito growl monocorde, ma purtroppo le liriche non risultano così ben elaborate quanto il resto.

Da solo questo iniziale lavoro dei nostrani Ad Nauseam (magari un nome meno riconducibile agli Ulcerate sarebbe stato più azzeccato) ha tutte le carte in regola per affascinare e conquistare le masse di devoti a queste sonorità; purtroppo un neo lo si può trovare, anche se fondamentalmente concettuale. Infatti, nonostante la qualità intrinseca delle composizioni, le sonorità proposte non si discostano più di tanto dalla scuola di partenza e considerando la già cospicua discografia dei nomi sacri prima citati, nonché l’evoluzione già avvenuta nel sound dei nostrani Nero di Marte (unici che potevano essere a tratti ricondotti a queste sonorità) ci sorge il dubbio che il disco non sia uscito nel momento più propizio.

Tirando la somma dei pro e dei contro gli Ad Nauseam sono riusciti a realizzare un prodotto valido, a cavallo tra presente e passato, che non avrà problemi a farsi notare. Gli elementi presenti nel disco ci fanno anche sperare in una decisiva evoluzione sonora, che permetta loro di distinguersi tra tanti omologhi e conquistarsi un posto privilegiato nei gusti degli amanti del genere.

Review by:

Rating: 7.0

Source: Grind on the road

STEREOGUM (IN ENGLISH)

Lavadome Productions’ breakout year continues. Following the molten Heaving Earth, the Czech label has strengthened its foundation with Italy’s Ad Nauseam, a tech-death quartet that swaps the style’s usual clinical sterilization for something far more organic. Similar to Diskord, Ad Nauseam’s progressive inclinations sound, well, real. That’s not to say “My Buried Dream”‘s complexity doesn’t cause vertigo. It’s nuts. After all, Ad Nauseam’s debut, Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, is the product of players obsessing over Obscura, especially the drummer and the surely Mark McGwire-sized forearms he has earned as a result. Oddball leads, atypical rhythms, Bartok-ian sounds, and all-of-the-fills are linked together by a jazzy syncopation. But Ad Nauseam don’t make it sound like a computer is calculating the trigger. The warm and full production is like something you’d hear in the ’70s, and there’s a sort of interplay, a connection, suggesting the performers are looking each other in the eyes. Of course, the selling point is the music. Five minutes in, “My Buried Dream” pays off with a section that has the emotional weight of Rune, Willowtip’s forgotten jewel. Yep, just your usual organic and emotionally resonant tech death.

Review by: Michael Nelson

Source: Stereogum

SPUTNIK MUSIC (IN ENGLISH)

Review Summary: A musical conundrum of the highest calibre.

Although it was usually a call for admiration some two decades ago, a metal band boasting extreme technical skill on their debut album is rather common these days. Understandably, the listeners’ enthusiasm for frequent tempo changes, odd time signatures and ostentatious arpeggios played at inhuman speeds has waned, and many bands hoping to distinguish themselves from the crowd are pushing the fold of innovation to the extreme. However, avoiding the perennial comparisons to Gorguts and/or Deathspell Omega seems to be a challenge for just about any band that opts for a complex and dissonant take on either death or black metal. Ad Nauseam aren’t immune, either. From the opening measures of “My Buried Dream”, it’s clear that the aforementioned acts have had a profound influence on the Italian four-piece, but Ad Nauseam manage to mould their influences into something that is faithful yet idiosyncratic, with an intensity that few can match.

The level of proficiency displayed on Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est comfortably usurps my ability to dissect and analyse the theory behind it in any great detail. Unorthodox chord progressions and chromatic leads constitute a good portion of the guitar work, bearing resemblances to that of acts such as Ulcerate, Artificial Brain and even Portal, but sounding imitative of none of them. Ad Nauseam combine the visceral, bludgeoning and oppressive nature of their contemporaries with an academic panache. This is enriched by the inclusion of atonal backing strings reminiscent of composers like Alfred Schnittke, exhibited most vividly in the closing minutes of “Key to Timeless Laws”. Now, lacing your compositions with string sections that flirt with serialism can very easily come across as contrived and pseudo-intellectual, but the manner in which the band integrates them is both tasteful and mercifully sporadic. With the bells and whistles confined to climaxes and interludes, the core instrumentation still drives the majority of the album, skirting the line between accessibility and total bedlam but never drifting too close to either end of the spectrum.

Underneath the disorienting presentation are arrangements that have been methodically composed, revised and fine-tuned. Each song is rapidly evolving into something different, and though refrains and hooks are present, they can be rather difficult to decipher on account of the eccentric material and seamless transitions. Thus, it probably comes as no surprise that Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est requires several astute listens before everything begins to unravel in a way that makes sense. Yes, it can still feel a little disorderly at times, but any such moments are few and far between. Aural respite comes in the form of melodic ceases, in which notes and chords often ring freely to create a palpable air of suspense, before the band shifts into gear and repeatedly catches you off-guard. The inclusion of these musical ceasefires also brings to light how beautifully produced the album is – each instrument has an equitable place in the mix, as well as crisp and clear yet organic timbres across the board. Combine the acute balance and rich textures with spacious mastering and you have what is arguably the best death metal album of 2015, so far.

With the amount of time and dedication that Ad Nauseam have clearly expended here, it would be a shame for this opus to be dismissed as just another Obscuracore product, because it is so much more than that. Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is a labyrinth of an album that takes time and patience to absorb, and should you afford it just that, your efforts will surely be reconciled.

Rating: 4.5//Superb

Review by: Jacquibim

Source: Sputnik Music

TWILIGHT MAGAZINE (IN GERMAN)

Eines muss man dem italienischen Quartett lassen, weder der lateinische Bandname AD NAUSEAM, was übersetzt so etwas heißt wie zur oder für die Seekrankheit, noch der Albumtitel “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum est” (Außer der Leere ist nichts geordnet/ hat nichts eine Ordnung) hätten den death-metallischen Sound besser treffen.

Denn in technisch überaus anspruchsvoller Manier schroten AD NAUSEAM darauf los, dass einem tatsächlich schwindelig wird. Dieser Effekt wird dann auch noch dadurch massiv verstärkt, dass man glaubt, die Songs hätten keine klar erkennbare Struktur. Aber das ist natürlich ein gewollter Eindruck, wird doch so das Zerstörerische, das Wahnsinnige, das Infernale in besonderer Weise betont.

Dem Hörer wird demgemäß einiges abverlangt. Halt geben eigentlich nur die düsteren Growls, während einen die eruptiven Riffs, die peitschenden Drums, die atonalen und dissonanten Passagen und die strukturelle Unberechenbarkeit mit in den höllischen Strudelschlund krachiger Brutalität ziehen.

Verlangsamte, leidend-quietschende Partien sorgen für kleinere Verschnaufpausen und ein überaus hohes Maß an Düsternis, allerdings nur so lange, bis der noisigen, tösenden Todesmetalwalze der Befehl zum Hochgeschwindigkeitsplattmachen gegeben wird (‘Into The Void Eye’). Hinzu kommt, dass AD NAUSEAM auch sporadische experimentelle Einflüsse in ihren Sound einfließen lassen, finden sich doch mitunter auch minimale Passagen mit klassischer Violine oder Klavier in den Songs.

So gelingt es den vier Italienern tatsächlich, dem technischen Death Metal ihren eigenen Stempel aufzudrücken, indem sie in brutalsten, düstersten und kräftigsten Gefilden dem Sound tatsächlich einen starken Hauch höllischer Hymnik, eherner Eingängigkeit und stählender Melodik abzugewinnen vermögen (‘Lost In The Antiverse’).

Fazit: AD NAUSEAM zelebrieren auf ihrem Debüt technischen Death Metal der brutalsten und zugleich anspruchsvollsten Sorte, der durch das vermeintlich ungeordnete und chaotische Zusammenspiel lärmenden Krachs zu einem einzigartigen Hörerlebnis führt, das sich die Anhänger von GORGUTS, ULCERATE, HATE ETERNAL, DEATHSPELL OMEGA oder HUMAN REMAINS und alle anderen Freunde der Krachforschung nicht entgehen lassen sollten.

Review by: Kersten Lison

Rating: 11/15

Source: Twilight magazine

BRAVE WORDS (IN ENGLISH)

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est from Italian death metallers Ad Nauseam is out now on Lavadome Productions. Stream the album in its entirety on Bandcamp.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is the debut album from the quartet and is bound to impress with its heaviness and destructive insanity. The eight technically complex, yet infinitely memorable tracks results in a timeless piece of death metal.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est was five years in the making and well worth the wait. The band has recorded and mixed the album in their own studio, even making some of its own equipment to capture the sound exactly as intended. The painstaking effort was driven by passion, energy, and creativity, collectively harnessed to ensure that mediocrity was crushed in the quest to create something relatively unique without abandoning familiar (and beloved) death metal constructs.

INVISIBLE INK (IN ENGLISH)

In Tune With Being Almost Out of Tune

Metal has always had links to classical music, particularly in the technicality and virtuosity departments, but this element is fully evident on the debut album from Italy’s Ad Nauseam. The album is called Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, which apparently translates as “Nothing But Emptiness Is Ordered”, and it is a crackling excellent disc. It is long at nearly an hour, and there is the odd diversion into the avant-garde, particularly towards the end of “The Black Veil of Original Flaw”, but if you can take it, Ad Nauseam puts the full package on the table. Basically fusing death metal with doom, Ad Nauseam have crafted an album with a real sense of flow and purpose – the songs generally run into each other as though they’re bumping against pedestrians while running down the sidewalk. But about that classical element: there’s the occasional skewed violin that pops up now and again, and the guitars rage as though they might be about to be lose their tune. This creates an abrasive and arty listening party that is unlike no other in the metal I’ve heard.

And there certainly is artiness to the material. At one moment, the band is practically flagellating itself and the next is turning over to lush, almost serene instrumental passages. Some of this even borderlines into jazz territory. Put all of those elements together and you get an album that was clearly five years in the making. A lot of thought and preparation went into the making of this near masterpiece, and the work and length of time to release the record was well worth the wait. This is as enchanting as it gets for metal. There’s something almost transcendent with what these musicians can do. (I want to say guys, but the band prefers partial anonymity and I don’t know if a having a couple of people named Andrea in the group signifies a female gender at all.) Overall, this album is not a nihilistic experience: it is quite original and daring, and even if there’s the odd discordant thing that crops up every now and then, hearing the group go from a balls-to-the-wall sound to outright sludge rock as they do on final song “Superimposing Sheer Will and Sheer Need” is a death metal defying experience. Basically, points for doing something different, and if arty metal is your bag, Ad Nauseam is hardly what their name implies.

Review by:

Rating: 8/10

Source: Invisible Ink Music Blog

APOCHS (IN ENGLISH)

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is the debut album from the quartet and is bound to impress with its heaviness and destructive insanity. The eight technically complex, yet infinitely memorable tracks results in a timeless piece of Death Metal. The CD can be ordered at THIS LOCATION.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est was five years in the making and well worth the wait. The band has recorded and mixed the album in their own studio, even making some of its own equipment to capture the sound exactly as intended. The painstaking effort was driven by passion, energy, and creativity, collectively harnessed to ensure that mediocrity was crushed in the quest to create something relatively unique without abandoning familiar (and beloved) Death Metal constructs. Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Gorguts, Ulcerate, Hate Eternal, Deathspell Omega, Human Remains, Ved Buens Ende and other genre visionaries. Confidence and determination permeates the sound of this debut, as AD NAUSEAM succeeds in capturing a potent mixture of darkness, iniquity, and extreme aggression. To discover Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is to discover a rare Death Metal gem.

Review by: .

Source: Apochs metal review

DEAD RHETORIC (IN ENGLISH)

Sometimes, an album just needs a little extra time to brew in order to get the best result possible. Ad Nauseam’s debut, Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, was five years in the making. The Italian band did the album completely in-house, not to mention they made some of the equipment that they needed in order to record the album to their own specifications. While it may seem that it was a painstaking effort, one listen to Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est will likely convince you that all of the time and effort was worth it.

Ad Nauseam channel a somewhat familiar, dissonant death metal approach that will draw some comparisons to bands such as Ulcerate, Gorguts, and Deathspell Omega. By no means is this copycat-level material though. The intricacies of Nihil bring themselves out with repeated listens and do not stick with the usual parameters. The way that Ad Nauseam slides through segments of frantic riffs to slower and more gritty atmospheric moments in and of itself is impressive. The songs have some incredible flow to them, which allows them go on to lengthier moments (such as the 11 + minute closer “Superimposing Mere Will and Sheer Need”) and not once does it seem like a drag. The grim and murky atmosphere also occasionally swaps itself out for a more horrific experience, with rather eerie effects and chilling samples (“Into the Void Eye”). The atmosphere at the end of “The Black Veil of Original Flaw” is particularly creepy. It adds to a sense of dread that the moments of occasionally off-kilter and intense death metal bring to the table.

A genuinely twisted take on death metal, Ad Nauseam are sure to be one of death metal’s underground gems for 2015. It’s also another victory for Lavadome Productions, who seem to be on quite a streak of death metal greatness this year. A thoroughly impressive debut, hopefully it won’t take another five years for a follow-up though.

Review by: Kyle McGinn

Rating: 8.5/10

Source: Dead Rhetoric

ECHOES AND DUST (IN ENGLISH)

Al Necro here. This review features the band Ad Nauseam and their album with the extra-long title Nihill Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est. Truth be told, Al Necro selected this album for review blindly. You guys know I’m not much into technical death metal, but this album isn’t solely that. Nihill Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est at times merges parts both technical and anti-technical, fusing dissonance with complex arrangements.

Some of the riffs are borderline catchy, which help the album mightily, as the more technical riffs and dizzying whirlwind tempo changes can slog. This album isn’t early 2000s tech death in the very least. It’s not lead guitar wankery a’la Brain Drill. The chord transitions are akin to some progressive black metal, ringing notes out along the upper frets. Overall, Nihill Quam… is a challenging listen for the casual metal fan. There are plenty of rewarding segments, but the songs merge into a frenzy of strange sounds and riffs.

Nihill Quam… is very much guitar-based. The drums do take a backseat, much of the time due to the production values. I feel that the production somehow fits the style of music, as a very clear digital production style would have rendered the dissonant portions a disservice. Instead, Ad Nauseam sound like a band very comfortable with lurking in the underground.

 

Nihill Quam… is released by little-known label Lavadome Productions. Lavadome very much like this style of play. Actually, this type of music is quite novel in that most metal bands that play a combination of tech and anti-tech play riffs a’la Portal. So, if you dig this album, check out Lavadome’s other releases.

The first track makes the longest-lasting impressions on me, but there are actually no highlight tracks. Listening to this album in one sitting is daunting, and this notion arises very early into the listen. However, fans of tech death that use other elements will find this album noteworthy. The riffs are well done, and the performances are top-notch. Certainly give this album a chance with repeat listens. Six Feet Under fans, you have been warned. This album isn’t chock full of the sort of hacked riffs that commercial death metal bands routinely come up with. If you like high-speed palm-muted chugga-chugga and shreds, you’ll love Nihill Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est like it’s a drug habit.

Review by by: Al Necro

Source: Echos and dust

YOUR LAST RITE (IN ENGLISH)

On its debut album, Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, Italy’s Ad Nauseam offers a bizarre take on technical death metal that is complex, and jarring, but at the same time engaging and even astounding. Weird death metal has a long history, reaching at least as far back as Demilich’s Nespithe, but it’s never been a crowded field, so although Ad Nauseam certainly isn’t the first band to hammer death metal out of a giant pile of the wrong notes, the band’s style still comes across as relatively fresh.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is dissonant, noisy and seemingly chaotic, and I can’t really tell when one song ends and another begins. Despite all that, this album comes across as finely, even meticulously crafted. I cannot help but think that there is a grand plan here, but I am just not smart enough to comprehend it. Not that it matters, because this album is perfectly enjoyable when taken riff by riff.

This is good death metal every bit as much as it is weird death metal.

Ad Nauseam, by embracing dissonance and a little micro-tonality , has a far bigger palette to draw from than most death metal bands: Ad Nauseam is using the big 64 crayon box of Crayola’s while most death metal bands use the standard eight crayon box. There’s a lot more going on here than yellow and blue makes green. The guitarists rarely play in unison and rarely utilize standard death metal techniques. Somehow, however, the parts end up meshing like a zipper, to create something musical, compelling and often catchy, even when the results sound more like power tools, a ray gun or an earthquake than the product of guitars, bass and drums. Then again, sometimes the music is more than the product of guitars bass and drums, as in “Key to Timeless Laws”, when a violin comes from out of nowhere and delivers a demented solo, perfectly in keeping with the album’s style.

The vocals and drums are what tie Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est most firmly to death metal. The vocals are perhaps the least remarkable element of the entire affair. They are perfectly serviceable, but nothing more than an average death growl. In an album this chaotic, though, an anchor in normality isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The drums are busy, but not too far out. They provide a focused, straightforward aggression that puts a lot of the heavy in this heavy metal.

In the second half of Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, the tracks seem to stretch out a bit and become more atmospheric, which dilutes the ferocity somewhat. The songs are still magnificently twisted, but one questions the wisdom of letting off the gas in the home stretch of an album that is almost an hour long. As taxing a listen as this album can be, by mellowing out a bit I think Ad Nauseam risks losing the listener. This, however, is more a problem with the running order than it is with the songs themselves.

I am not one to place a high value on weirdness for its own sake. Novelty has its charm, but it is the masterful manner in which Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is constructed and executed that is real draw here. This is good death metal every bit as much as it is weird death metal. If the likes of Gorguts and Pyrrhon twist your ears in just the right way, then Ad Nauseam is well worth investigating.

Review by: Jeremy Morse

CHURCH OF THE NECRONOMICO (IN ENGLISH)

Ever wonder what a soul sounds like torn apart?  This is it.  “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” has an evil sound and vibe to it leading me to wonder if demons and devils rejoice loudly each time this record gets played.

It’s a crushing record start to finish.  “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” is eight tracks of bleak, stripped down death metal, a compliment to this band as their sound is heavy beyond heavy.  The band is firing on all cylinders here, not afraid to change up gears and quiet down long enough to build mood and atmosphere then drop an anvil on your head with the ferocity and aggression of their music.

It’s hard to compare them to another band, nor do I want to.  Ad Nauseam are making music and doing it the right way; unique and not afraid to explore this genre their way.  We already have a Cannibal Corpse and a Deicide, now we need Ad Nauseam.  Check this record out.

METAL FORCES MAGAZINE (IN ENGLISH)

Nothing beats a fix of jarring and at times bewildering death metal. Italy’s Ad Nauseam are the latest exponents of experimental extreme metal; rising out of Schio in 2011, this quartet has clearly thought long and hard about this release and come up with a progressive cacophony of nightmarish proportions.

Apparently, some of the songs on offer here have been some five years in the making and believe me, you won’t hear anything else like this for a while. Indeed, members Andrea P. (vocals / guitar), Matteo G. (guitar), Matteo B. (bass) and Andrea S. (drums) should be commended for such an unconventional assault on the senses.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is one of those special extreme metal records that comes along when you least expect it, but when it does strike you’re so unprepared that you often have to take leave from its layers in order to take it all in.

So what we get with this debut opus are eight relatively lengthy tracks – the shortest being five-and-a-half minutes and the longest at over ten. From the off, it’s a perplexing array of technical death metal that at certain times may have you staring quizzically at the stereo to make sure the record / disc hasn’t skipped!

Opener ‘My Buried Dream’ begins with a suspenseful screech, but then lurches into a truly jarring soundscape of jazzed up death metal reminiscent of the sort of multi-layered techniques that the likes of Atheist et al plundered in the early 90s. However, this is more frantic and even less accessible – the bass-lines seemingly cavorting, twisting and flipping in order to toy with the avalanche of percussion. Oddly, the drums are rarely brutal but merely infrequent taps and perverse beats which contradict the unorthodox riffs and epileptic leads. Indeed, the only apparent “normal” quality about the record are the vocals. Yep, thankfully they are just death metal grunts, but they too have to contend with the pulverising display performed by those manic yet ever-changing chords and tumbling drum escapades.

‘Key To Timeless Laws’ begins with an effective barrage then throws in a few hyper blast-beats to complement the obdurate hammer drums, but here I’m reminded somewhat of the cosmic creations of Nocturnus. Although the whole thing flows, there is just not one second when the quartet rests on a certain beat or rhythm, each track existing as a hot-bed of jolting, quaking and juddering extremity. Forget banging your head to this; instead, you’ll spend most of the duration scratching your cranium until the skin begins to flay.

One cannot ignore the utter quality of this intricate battering ram of a record; the aforementioned ‘Key To Timeless Laws’ takes on so many twists and turns that you’ll be feeling as if your brain has been turned upside down, and when one considers the length of each track, your ears won’t know what’s going on by the time ‘La Maison Diev’ has delivered its extreme pattern shifts. I’m not going to lie, it’s going to take a bold or stupid traveller to dive into this labyrinth of sound and attempt to unravel its layers, because Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est harbours a multitude of perplexing mysteries – each barrage unfolding and presenting itself like some esoteric and cosmic code.

‘Into The Void Eye’ begins in measured fashion, but the drums are soon rampant and playing with those gargantuan yet metamorphosing chords. The vocals shift between yaps and growls but again are the only constant feature to latch on to, the rest of the sound being a distorted and disorientating maze. In fact, even after a few spins, Ad Nauseam’s debut offering is a difficult one to review as I’m still alienated by a number of tracks; I’m bewildered by the rampaging ‘Lost In The Antiverse’ and equally befuddled by the behemoths ‘The Black Veil Of Original Flaw’ and ‘Superimposing Mere Will And Sheer Need’ – both of which are complex networks of rattling drums, bemusing bass and confusing rhythms.

Albums of this nature are nigh on impossible to pin down; flipping, churning, reversing, spinning, gambolling and convulsing through its entirety, and oh how I wish I could give it a higher rating but an eight is at once a compliant and yet a reflection as to its cosmically complex aura. Lump this manifestation in with Gorguts and the likes, and only visit when truly prepared for brainwashing!

Review by: Neil Arnold

Rating: 8/10

Source: Metal forces magazine

NECROSLAUGHTER (IN GERMAN)

Wesentlich später machte mich Jan von Lavadome Productions auf den Track aufmerksam. Und seither wartete ich sehnsüchtig auf das fertige Album von AD NAUSEAM. Besagtes Label hat sich schlussendlich in die Verantwortung genommen und diesen Leckerbissen im März 2015 veröffentlicht. Dem Jan gebührt dafür größter Dank, denn AD NAUSEAM legen hier schlicht eines der besten Alben vor, das dieses Jahr erscheinen kann. Und das sage ich in Anbetracht von Sulphur Aeon, Tribulation und den begonnenen Aufnahmen zum neuen Ulcerate-Album!

Natürlich ist “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” kein einfaches Album oder gar ein Album für jedermann. Die meisten Fans von Sulphur Aeon, Tribulation oder gar anderen, traditionellen Ausrichtungen des Death Metals werden sogar die Nase über dieses dissonante und sperrige Brett rümpfen! Fans von Aosoth, Deathspell Omega, Nero Di Marte, Gorguts oder Ulcerate werden hingegen voller Verzückung die dicksten Freudentränen vergießen! AD NAUSEAM verbindet nämlich einfach die besten Eigenschaften aller genannten Bands, bringt noch etwas Jazz-Drumming dazu und kloppt noch das ein oder andere Cryptopsy-Riff in diesen unheilvollen Klangstrudel voll finsterer Atmosphäre!

Als größtes Vergleichsmoment dürfte sicherlich Ulcerate dienen, die mit “The Destroyers Of All” deutliche Spuren auf “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” hinterlassen haben. Mehr als einmal könnte ich Riffing und Struktur nicht von der neuseeländischen Blaupause unterscheiden. Doch dann kommt eine urplötzliche Wendung, vollstes Geballer mit Gitarren voller Ruhe und absurder Harmonieführung, die an den Zen von “Colored Sands” (Gorguts) erinnern. Im Nächsten Moment werden die Saiteninstrumente aber noch ruhiger und verspielter, das Schlagzeug orientiert sich mehr am Jazz – und dann brischt alles in furioses Chaos aus nahe an der Finsternis Aosoths, mit eben erwähnten Riffs, die Cryptospy nicht unähnlich sind. Dennoch wirken die Songs voller Dynamik nicht willkürlich, sondern wohl durchdacht und so obskur wie es Deathspell Omega nicht besser hätten illustrieren können.

Als ob diese Klangwand aus regulären Metal-Instrumenten, Gitarren, Bass und Schlagzeug, nicht schon wahnwitzig genug wäre, kommen immer wieder dezente Experimente in den Sound, die das komplexe Gebilde “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” abermals erweitern. Es beginnt bereits vor “My Buried Dream” mit verstörenden Streichern, die im obskuren Jazz-Part von “Key To Timeless Law” oder am Ende von “Into The Void Eye” noch abgefucktere Akzente setzen. “The Terror Haze” instrumentalisiert weiterhin psychopathisches Klaviergeklimper, derweil das abschließende “Superimposing Mere Will And Sheer Need” im zähen Ende mit Drones und weiteren Sounds experimentiert. Die Klanglandschaft von AD NAUSEAM ist schier wahnwitzig!

Die äußerst intensive Stunde von “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” ist verdammt intelligent konstruiert und abwechslungsreich. Freilich mag dieser komplexe Sound für viele Hörer auf diese Spieldauer anstrengend sein. Doch wie gesagt, wer Bands wie Ulcerate oder Gorguts abfeiert, bekommt über diesen Zeitraum ein integrales Klangerlebnis einer unheilvollen Klangwelt, die auch im Detail immer wieder spannende Wendungen und einzigartige Momente enthält. Gerade will ich noch “La Maison Diev” mit seiner perfiden Grundstimmung und verspielten Elementen als Song des Jahres feiern, beginnt auch schon “The Terror Haze“, das nicht nur seinem Namen alle Ehre macht, sondern auch in seiner Instrumentalisierung und dem psychopatischen Lachen, schön versteckt im Lied, den absurden Wahnsinn der Band illustriert. Oder auch die geniale “Harmonie”-Führung aus “Into The Void Eye” ist ein echtes Highlight. Gerade wenn man denkt, der Song sei einfach nur ein unfassbar böses Monster, steigern AD NAUSEAM die gesamte Kacke noch einmal.

Lost In The Antiverse” erinnert mit seiner abgefuckten Lead-Gitarre sehr stark an den Übersong “Inverted” von Gorguts, bekommt dann aber auch wieder Momente der Hoffnung und des Verderbens, wie sie “Cold Becoming” von Ulcerate hervorragend zeichnete. Dazu immer wieder die ruhigeren Momente, die nicht minder garstig sind, aber eine gewisse Verspieltheit und intelligentes Songwriting zeigen, polyphone Kackophonien voller mitreißender “Melodien”.

AD NAUSEAM haben mit “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” ein schier phantastisches Werk erschaffen. Wahnsinn, Wahnwitz, technisches Können auf höchstem Niveau, Atmosphäre in den finstersten Untiefen, ein unbeschreibliches Gespür für spannenden Songfluss und Dynamik (gerade das Kontrastspiel aus Ruhe und Brachialität entbehrt sich der meisten Metalbands) und eine klangfarbliche Palette, die lediglich von den Besten entleiht und dann zu einem sehr eigenständigem Werk variiert. Die Scheibe läuft bei mir seit Wochen auf Dauerrotation und legt die Messlatte für folgende Alben von Gorguts, Ulcerate, Nero Di Marte, Departé und Konsorten verdammt hoch. “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” ist definitiv DER Pflichtkauf für 2015!

Review by:

Source: Necroslaughter

ALL AROUND METAL (IN ITALIAN)

MALVAGITA’ E TECNICA NELLA MUSICA DEGLI AD NAUSEAM

Gli Ad Nauseam sono una band Technical Death Metal originaria di Schio, vicino a Vicenza, e ciò che colpisce immediatamente del loro full lenght d’esordio “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” è il loro altissimo livello tecnico. Fra le loro influenze principali possiamo tranquillamente annoverare i veri e propri mostri della tecnica del metal estremo, che dai nomi più canonici come Death e Morbid Angel arrivano fino a realtà più moderne come Necrophagist, Immolation, Origin, Nile, Gorguts e Pestilence, a cui si può aggiungere poi la vena sperimentale di Deathspell Omega e Voivod a completare il quadro. Sonorità oscure e volutamente dissonanti a tratti, ritmiche serratissime fatte di blast beat mitraglianti ed una voce in growl esasperato sono gli ingredienti principali di un mix che non perde mai un bpm di velocità dalla prima all’ultima traccia della tracklist: ogni riff di chitarra viaggia oltre il muro del suono, creando delle parti soffocanti e schizofreniche, sempre seguite da un basso preciso e potente sia nelle ritmiche standard che nelle numerosissime armonizzazioni. Grazie a questi espedienti compositivi, ogni canzone esce impregnata di una malvagità che solo poche band riescono a creare, con il loro metal estremo ed elevatamente “complicato” gli ad Nauseam riescono a fare in modo che il loro album ci spalanchi le porte dell’Inferno davanti agli occhi e che ci spingano fra le fiamme. Rovescio dell’album di un disco di tale genere è il suo essere decisamente elitario, solo chi è dentro ai meandri del death metal tecnico potrà apprezzare pienamente questo disco, per chi invece non è troppo abituato a queste sonorità questo disco risulterà solo uno sfoggio di tecnica fine a se stesso. Unica nota dolente è la post produzione, a mio giudizio troppo secca e molle, la quale “smorza” troppo la potenza delle ritmiche di queste otto canzoni. Attendiamo comunque fiduciosi gli Ad Nauseam per un successivo viaggio nell’Oltretomba all’insegna del loro Death Metal.

Review by: Michele Alluigi

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: All Around Metal

METAL-TEMPLE (IN ENGLISH)

AD NAUSEAM is a Technical Death Metal band based out of Italy. “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” is the band’s debut album on Lavadome Productions label, and contains eight tracks. “My Buried Dream” is the opening track. It quickly progresses to blast beat drumming, fast picked riffs and Death vocal growls that are indiscernible. The instrumentation is both dissonant and impossibly tight, as you would expect Tech Death would be. There is also a hasty quality to the track, like something evil trying to catch up to you. “Key to Timeless Laws” continues in this vein, alternating between an all-out assault and some softer but shorter
connecting passages. “Into the Void Eye” is a little deeper and darker, focusing more on creating an air of pure death and destruction, like laying waste to everything around. Sometimes the power and energy is so great it is difficult to distinguish chord patterns or establish a main meter. “Lost In The Antiverse” features a screeching guitar riff underneath the angst fueled Death vocals, and you feel like you are trapped in the darkness at night as a dragon’s claws clutch at you over and over, scraping against objects that somehow shield you. “The Black Veil Of Original Flaw” is a bit longer and with a little more structure, exploring the deeper end of the album as a whole. I find the accentuating passages do a job gob of breaking up the purity of the rage, which is as intense as it is present.

There is an extended ending that just bubbles there quietly, under the surface, eager to get out but never does. Closing the album is the eleven minute track “Superimposing Mere Will And Sheer Need.” The supporting guitar work adds some additional dissonance that is particularly interesting, especially as the track has another long fade out, lingering to remind you that there is little left of the world that they just blew up. For the style, the album is spot on. It’s a fleeting fury of discord and brutality, relentless in its attack and barely stopping to breathe. During the brief passages that are not as full-on, there is an air of darkness and suspense that brings to live the evil quality of the tracks.

Review by: Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell

Rating: 7/10 Good

Source: Metal-temple

LA GROSSE RADIO (IN FRENCH)

La porte ouverte par Gorguts depuis la sortie d’Obscura en 1998 a clairement influencé bon nombre de musiciens de death metal. On ne saurait nier l’influence grandissante des québécois dans des sorties récentes. Citons en tête Ulcerate, mais également d’autres combos récents comme Dehuman ou encore Ad Nauseam, dont il est question aujourd’hui. Certes, les locutions latines qui donnent un titre à cette galette peuvent sonner prétentieux, mais pour leur défense, sachez que ces musiciens sont Italiens.

La filiation avec les groupes cités précédemment est criante, et ce dès le premier titre « My Buried Dream », qui voit le groupe italien flirter avec le black avant-gardiste (à la Dodecahedron), proposant des rythmiques alambiquées et surtout de la dissonance à foison (« La maison Dieu »). De dissonant à bruitiste, il n’y a d’ailleurs qu’un pas, que Ad Nauseam ne franchit cependant jamais, donnant aux compositions ce dont elles ont besoin, dans une démarche artistique sincère et intègre.

Les titres se veulent pour le moins progressifs (« The Black Veil of Original Flaw », «Superimposing mere will and Sheer Need ») puisqu’outre la longueur de l’album (qui avoisine les 55 minutes pour seulement huit titres), la difficulté d’accès est de mise. Un réel effort est à faire pour rentrer dans l’univers des Italiens, tant les structures se révèlent complexes à mémoriser. Mais justement, c’est moins l’aspect cérébral qu’émotionnel qui est sollicité à travers l’écoute de ce combo et il est nécessaire de se laisser porter par la musique de Ad Nauseam. On apprécie également les nombreuses cassures rythmiques et les ralentissements de tempo qui savent créer la surprise (« Lost in the Antiverse »).

Ad Nauseam expérimente, teinte ses compositions de black et d’ambiant par toutes petites touches (ces notes dissonantes de piano à la fin de « The Black Veil of Original Flaw» en sont le plus bel exemple). Le chant d’Andrea P., le leader de la formation n’est pas mis en avant, se contentant d’intervenir ponctuellement pour renforcer le sentiment d’oppression qui se dégage des compositions du quatuor.

Techniquement, on ne peut rien reprocher aux musiciens qui poussent le perfectionnisme jusque dans la production, ici excellente. La basse de Matteo B. sert de fondation solide pour qu’Andrea S. (batterie), puisse s’en donner à cœur joie dans un style de jeu rappelant Jamie Saint-Merat d’Ulcerate.

Les détracteurs de ce style de death reprocheront peut être le manque de personnalité des musiciens dont les influences sont immédiatement identifiables. Mais qu’importe tant les compositions sont solides et la démarche artistique intègre et sincère. Loin de nous donner la nausée, ce Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est nous donne la furieuse envie de presser de nouveau le bouton play de notre lecteur, et ce, “Ad Vitam aeternam“…

Review by: Watchmaker

Rating: 9/10

Source: La Grosse Radio

METAL HAMMER (IN ITALIAN)

Dopo il bellissimo debutto degli Heaving Earth di pochi mesi fa, ecco che la sempre attenta Lavadome Production fa esordire gli italianissimi Ad Nauseam, ed è un altro centro. Sembra uno spot pubblicitario per la label ceca (che comunque lavora molto bene) ma la qualità di Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est c’è tutta, ed è qui, misurabile, palpabile ma… con molta calma.
Sì perché il disco del quartetto veneto è qualcosa di molto, molto complesso. Durante i primi due ascolti di fila mi sentivo sulla testa un grosso punto interrogativo che mi seguiva per la stanza a mò di nuvola di Fantozzi, non nato dalla dubbia efficacia della musica, anzi, ma dalla sua estrema complessità. I

l death metal dei Nostri è, infatti, parecchio tecnico ed abbiamo a che fare con una valanga di bei riff, spesso creati in contrapposizione ad arpeggi dissonanti, il che dà vita ad un suono denso e spesso, assai intricato e pieno zeppo di cambi sia di ritmo che di atmosfera. È un gruppo che si muove tra il terreno dei Gorguts più onirici, degli Ulcerate, con qualche capatina nei campi (di morte) dei nostrani Ephel Duath. Questi ragazzi non sono nuovi a proporre musica complicata, sorgono dalle ceneri dei Death Heaven, gruppo in cui proponevano un death legato allo stile dei Necrophagist e primi Decapitated ma ora quello stile si è evoluto ed è stato inghiottito dal buio. Gli Ad Nauseam fanno di tutto per buttarci a terra, per travolgerci, vista anche la lunga durata del lavoro (55 minuti di apocalisse) e di alcuni brani tra cui la botta finale di Superimposing Mere Will and Sheer Need, 11 minuti di estremismo sonoro contaminato con doom. Qualcosina di leggermente più “immediato”, non oso definirlo “catchy”, lo troviamo qua e là per dare un pochino di ossigeno all’ascolto, soprattutto con Lost in the Antiverse, che ha un andamento più diretto ma, ripeto, il senso di asfissia è bello forte.

Gran debutto che mi sta causando dipendenza di ascolti e che, date le capacità, potrà essere ulteriormente perfezionato con la prossima uscita. Dopo parecchi passaggi posso dire di essere molto soddisfatto.

Review by: Francesco Frank Gozzi

Rating: 8

Source: Metal Hammer

THE METAL CRYPT (IN ENGLISH)

This is a tough nut to crack. Italian technical Death Metallers Ad Nauseam have created quite the mishmash of havoc on their debut album, Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est. They have added avant-garde and experimental elements to their blast beat-orientated technical Death Metal and, to further confuse people, there are also string orchestra and piano parts.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is a very challenging and demanding album for its listeners. There’s nothing easy for the ordinary listener but any who can appreciate complex instrumental wank fests will get more out of Ad Nauseam’s debut. Their style pushes the boundaries of what is considered extreme. With every listen one is able to find new details and it all becomes a more rewarding listening experience after multiple spins. Honestly, I am still struggling with this album quite a bit and it does not help that there’s more than 55 minutes of nonstop complexity.

I haven’t come across an album this hard-edged and ear-twisting in a very long time. Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est will definitely take more time to digest.

Review by: Luxi Lahtinen

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: The metal crypt

GHOST CULT (IN ENGLISH)

One of the best things about being an… ahem… “mature” Metal fan is finally being over all that anti-trend nonsense. If you’re still on the more idealistic side of twenty-five you might want to skip to the next paragraph, but the cold fact is that Extreme Metal is as vulnerable to fashion as any other kind of Pop music (it’s okay, they’ve already stopped reading), with the same references cropping up in rotation until the trend moves on.

Adorned with underground-cool pencil cover art, Ad Nauseam’s debut album can be explained entirely in terms of names with a lot of cool weight in Metal right now. Combining the dissonant, abstract thundering of Gorguts, Ulcerate’s near-ambient Death Metal soundscapes, the flailing freak-outs of Deathspell Omega and a touch of Portal’s nightmarish otherworldliness, on paper Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est (Lavadome Productions) reads like an essay on “How To Write A Cool Death Metal Album In 2015”.  It is also a perfect demonstration of why none of that stuff matters and Metal fans should finally stop caring about whether something is trendy or not, because it is not only a genuinely excellent album, but a truly distinctive one.

There is a genuine sense of both depth and individual voice on the album which raises it above the vast majority of its peers. Refusing to restrict themselves to a single territory, Ad Nauseam are equally comfortable with savage violence, abstract experimentation and doom-laden dissonance, yet never sound as though they’ve lost a sense of what they’re doing.  Yes, it’s possible to identify the bits that sound like Gorguts or DSO, but as a whole they mesh together into something entirely itself.

Ad Nauseam have come out of nowhere with some of the most over-used references in modern underground Metal, and used them to assemble what will almost certainly be one of the best Death Metal albums of the year. If you didn’t think there was any space left in your collection for another album that sounds like this, you were objectively wrong. Fill that space immediately.

Review by: RICHIE HR

Rating: 9.0/10

Source: Ghost Cult

ANGRY METAL GUY (IN ENGLISH)

Earlier this year, Grymm called Imperial Triumphant’s incredible sophomore effort Abyssal Gods “the best French black metal album in recent history” and lauded the half-Pyrrhon band as the new bringers of discomfort and disgust, mixing Obscura-influenced death metal with atmospheric black metal and the occasional ukulele. They’re not alone. Straying towards the more death metal side of the growing dissonant hordes, Ad Nauseam trade in that ukulele for screeching violins and a German expressionist piano on their harrowing and fascinating debut. Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est adds a new dimension to the combination of jarring dissonance, alien rhythm and crushing nihilism that has become my favorite musical style. More so than Dodecahedron or Baring Teeth their music owes its existence to the daring experimentation of 20th century art music composers.

But first things first; Ad Nauseam aren’t some abstract chamber group, and though their music is dense and difficult, they sure as hell know how to write riffs, including the Gojira-meets Gorguts pick-scraping monstrosity that appears early on in the album’s shortest song “Lost in the Antiverse.” Though it doesn’t get nearly the playtime it deserves, that golden riff sweeps you into one of the album’s most compelling songs, beginning with that neckbreaking groove and piece by piece melting into the album’s incredible peak. The zenith of Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est comes in the form of the paired “The Black Veil of Original Flaw” and “Superimposing Mere Will and Sheer Need,” the segue in-between which is heart-stopping. Strings and piano clamor together in an atmosphere of esurient chaos before the piano alone introduces “Superimposing” – and its skull-peeling beginning – in the most horrifying way possible.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est is perhaps most impressive not in its excellent writing or performances, but in its sound. The band makes use of atypical instrumentation and extended techniques throughout the album; the coordinated pick scrapes in “Lost in the Antiverse” and “Superimposing Mere Will and Sheer Need” prove highly impactful, but the guitars are among the least acrobatic of the instruments. A down-tuned bass spits fret noise while the recurring violins fly in only at the bleeding edges of their range. Instead of playing backing chords or melodies, the piano undergoes no end of abuse, its strings scraped and keys pounded with not disregard, but contempt for its safety.

This chaos is all captured in what may be the best recording I’ve heard this year; sound so crisp and lithe rarely makes its way onto a metal cd, but Nihil sounds chaotic and terrifying without being loud or compressed. You can hear every plucked piano string and every finger landing on a fret; the record is truly symphonic in its scope and feel, as if you’re sitting in on the world’s most dangerous chamber performance.

Eight songs long and five years in the making, Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est towers above its contemporaries, erecting minarets of rotting dreams atop towers of psychosis and fear. It is more encapsulating, more daring, more carefully composed and more meticulously produced than any other album to be released this year. Ad Nauseam have taken a movement spearheaded by the likes of Ulcerate and Dodecahedron and transfused into it the life-blood of the European avant-garde tradition. Nihil borrows just as much from Krzysztof Penderecki or Gyorgy Ligeti as Luc Lemay or Michael Hoggard.

This is the music that points towards the path ahead. After an arms race of technicality, metal has painted itself into a corner with no clear way forward; and so we mark time by continuing in the tradition of our forebears, whether we return to ‘70s doom or ‘90s death metal. But how can we revitalize the genes through such incestuous navel gazing? Only by reaching far afield can extreme metal remain extreme. The hybridization attempted by Ad Nauseam succeeds completely in flushing their music full of vitality and interest, paving the way for others to follow down side-streets of their own.

Tracks to Check: “La Maison Diev,” “Lost in the Antiverse,” “The Black Veil of Original Flaw,” and “Superimposing Mere Will and Sheer Need”

ARISTOCRAZIA WEBZINE (IN ITALIAN)

Il sottoscritto aspettava da parecchio gli Ad Nauseam, soprattutto perché in un’epoca ormai lontana consumò il lavoro di questi stessi ragazzi a nome Death Heaven, il più che valido e behemothiano “Viral Apocalypse”, una delle prime produzioni di casa Punishment 18 (2007). Casomai foste anche voi in rapporti con detto disco, fate una bella cosa: tabula rasa. Il cambio di nome della formazione di Schio è più che legittimo: gli Ad Nauseam non sono i Death Heaven.

I Behemoth non esistono più, se non in minimissima parte, nelle elaborazioni della band vicentina, che degli albori del proprio percorso ha conservato solo e soltanto il macro-genere di riferimento. Dopo otto anni di gestazione, dal guscio è uscito qualcosa di totalmente altro. Il death metal di “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” è qualcosa di completamente diverso, ben più vicino ai Gorguts nelle loro propaggini meno frenetiche e più sulfuree. Un album liquido, inafferrabile, magmatico e di enorme atmosfera, in cui ogni contributo è amalgamato, quasi confuso, per raggiungere un risultato dannatamente straniante, al limite della psichedelia: batteria, basso, chitarra, voce, nulla è scindibile dal tutto e il tutto ha confini labili. Sicuramente si tratta di un disco complesso, che ha bisogno di tanti e tanti e tanti ascolti per svelarsi completamente, ma che allo stesso tempo riesce a conservare una certa accessibilità, sufficiente per non scoraggiare l’ascoltatore meno avvezzo a cambi di tempo repentini e soluzioni poco ortodosse. Che questi ragazzi fossero musicisti tecnicamente preparatissimi lo si sapeva già dieci anni fa, oggi i Nostri hanno portato la perizia strumentale alla corte del delirio.

Gli Ad Nauseam hanno però definitivamente vinto nell’immaginario e nell’iconografia che hanno adottato: un’illustrazione degna della più esoterica e avanguardistica corrente black metal (non ho detto io Deathspell Omega, l’avete pensato voi), un tappeto di suoni che potrebbe essere un repertorio di Captain Beefheart riletto dal già citato Luc Lemay e testi che fanno della psiche umana il proprio perno. Non fosse per qualche incertezza di troppo nella prosa inglese, staremmo sfiorando la perfezione.

Come se non bastasse, abbiamo avuto il grandissimo piacere di vederli sul palco del Brutal Assault poche settimane fa, protagonisti di un’esibizione maiuscola, segnale che la piazza internazionale si sta giustamente interessando a un gruppo che ha indubbiamente molto da dire. Insomma, solo plausi per gli Ad Nauseam.

ECHOES-ZINE (IN CZECH)

Pokud je mi za poslední dobu nějaké vydavatelství sympatické svojí odvahou, vkusem a čichem na kvalitní kousky, jsou to tuzemští Lavadome Productions. O italské Ad Nauseam bych sám od sebe bez předchozího náslechu nezavadil, ale jsem v tomto ohledu asi lehce povrchní konzument – pouhá zmínka o vydavateli mne donutila zvednout obočí a ukazovák do výše a zvolat „sem s tím!“. Budou tedy Lavadome pokračovat ve své spanilé vydavatelské jízdě, kterou lemují nedávné pomníky Destroying Divinity a Heaving Earth?

Pokud patříte mezi posluchače, kteří rádi objevují taje nahrávek postupně, kteří si dají předkrm či první chod následovaný lehkou pauzičkou na zažívání a teprve potom přistaví opět prázdný talíř, Ad Nauseam vám mohou více než vyhovovat. První poslech vás může ohromit, ale rozhodně vám tahle obskurní květinka nerozkvete plnou krásou do večera. Je třeba se jí nějaký ten den věnovat…ale finální zážitek za tu trpělivost stojí!

 

Čtveřice Andrea/Matteo/Andrea/Matteo albem „Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est“ debutuje. Ovšem po prvních minutách musí být každému jasné, že máme co do činění s velice schopnými muzikanty. Ad Nauseam drhnou death metal, ale hodně rychle zapomeňte na oldschoolové postupy a zvuk. Napadají mne nálepky jako schizo, psycho, progressive, disharmonic…ale pro ilustraci zmíním jednu kapelu, o které se ve spojitosti s Italy bude mluvit asi až nezdravě často. Gorguts. Ti už kdysi na albu „Obscura“ vymysleli úchylný death metal, po vrch napěchovaný extrémním blastovým tempem, kytarovou disharmonií, nervním aranžováním a kanálně-hysterickým vokálem. A tohle vše jsem zaslechl v upgradeované podobě na zde probírané placce. Placce mimochodem balené jako „pouhý“ jewel box, přesto nádherně a vkusně graficky vychytané.

 

Ad Nauseam jsou jedněmi z těch, kteří neútočí na vaši první signální soustavu s rozběhem, křikem „urrrá“ a hrdě vztyčenou vlajkou na vrcholu barikády. Hudba „Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est“ je jako nervový plyn, který svým jedovatě zelenožlutým odstínem barví ruiny měst a bludiště zákopů, spolehlivě proniká do sklepů, oken a sebemenších skulin. A než se nadějete, je všude! Neuvěřitelně rychlé bicí se slévají do kulometné palby a chvílemi navozují až téměř rituálně-ambientní nálady. Nad tou dechberoucí kadencí se vznáší dramatické riffy sedmistrunných kytar, které evokují nálety stíhaček s náporovými sirénami. Přiletí, gorgutsovsky vše vybombardují, občas rozsekají zbytky po vzoru Meshu a na závěr dílo zkázy smířlivě pokryjí akustickou maskovací sítí. Totální zmar přichází během poslední desetiminutovky „Superimposing Mere Will And Sheer Need“, která už hraničí s mixem death metalu, funeral doomu a ambientu.

Pokud jsem zmínil stylovou spřízněnost s Gorguts, tak jenom proto, abych nastínil, co vlastně od debutu Ad Nauseam čekat. Rozhodně se nejedná o nějaký revival nebo tribute band, protože na to jsou Italové příliš sví a operují podle vlastního scénáře. Dokonce se přiznám, že „Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est“ si k mým uším najde cestu určitě častěji než Lemayova produkce.

 

Prostě a jasně: na tomto albu se velice špatně hledají nedostatky a já se minimálně letos zatím nesetkal s extrémně laděným albem takových kvalit a takto nadstandardní úrovně.

ROCK HARD (IN CZECH)

Opäť moja slabosť pre taliansku scénu nesklamala. Ak máte radi „ulietárne“, nech sa páči! Zavrite ULCERATE a EPHEL DUATH do štúdia tak na mesiac a vzniklo by z toho asi dačo takéto. To by ako charakteristika úplne stačilo, pretože ak máte radi tieto dve bandy, je absolútne vylúčené, že vám muzika nesadne. Kvalita a zmysel pre psycho atmosféru, samá zmena nálad, rytmiky, občas sa vám z toho chce kričať! AD NAUSEAM je taktiež názov songu práve od ULCERATE, čiže je absolútne jasné, odkiaľ vanie ten uragán. Možno produkujú trošku menej negativity, čo ma práve teší. Muzika do pohody aj nepohody, keď proste nepotrebujete riešiť svoje problémy, zhltne vás to celých aj s bagandžami, pokiaľ im to samozrejme dovolíte. Deathpsychojazzmani, toto je muzika pre nás ako uliata. Treba ju pitvať, skúmať, objavovať… Urvite sa z reťazí!

5/5

Moony

THE NEW NOISE (IN ITALIAN)

Paradosso, introspezione, smarrimento. E ancora giochi di ripetizione, contrasti e caos. Quest’album è quanto di più vicino a ciò che le opere del maestro Piranesi mi suggeriscono. L’architetto e incisore di origine veneziana ci ha lasciato in eredità lavori coi quali la nostra mente può viaggiare tra sogno e incubo in un luogo in cui lo spazio e il tempo si annullano, scaraventandoci inavvertitamente lungo la strada della sua vita tormentata. Alla stessa maniera gli Ad Nauseam portano in musica dissonanze nate da tensione ed oscurità.

È un discorso musicale iniziato tempo addietro da molti altri, basti pensare a The Destroyers Of All degli Ulcerate (2011), Paracletus dei Deathspell Omega (2010), senza dimenticare chi ha dato il via a tutto ciò nel lontano ‘98, ovvero i Gorguts con Obscura. Tornando in Italia, mentre i Nero Di Marte sono volti all’anima più progressive del genere e hanno chiuso col passato, gli Ad Nauseam hanno fatto tesoro della vecchia esperienza a nome Death Heaven e hanno riplasmato alcune caratteristiche con quelle che sono le loro influenze più forti (Hate Eternal e Origin): in tal senso “Key To Timeless Laws” e “Terror Haze” sono una netta dichiarazione d’intenti. L’album non è derivativo né risente di alcun revival: death metal atipico ma non troppo, con arrangiamenti orchestrali malsani mai eccessivi, chitarre granitiche e una produzione più che buona. Il tasso tecnico è elevato, ma molti brani si lasciano ricordare con facilità: trovare l’equilibrio in questo senso è sempre difficile, però suonare insieme da più di dieci anni dà certamente una mano, quindi un plauso particolare per aver posto l’accento su sonorità attuali senza (s)cadere nell’anonimato. Chi si fa avanti adottando questo genere deve avere per forza una buona preparazione alle spalle e questi ragazzi sembrano essere pronti a raccogliere ciò che hanno seminato finora.

HEATHEN HARVEST (IN ENGLISH)

Avant-garde. Technical. Dissonant. These are the terms I’ve most often seen used to describe Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est at every twist and turn, so I figured it’d be prudent to get them in the open as soon as possible. Add to that the comparisons with Gorguts, Ulcerate, and Deathspell Omega, though in truth I only really agree with those first two in the case of Ad Nauseam. I have heard this unholy trifecta used to compare a growing number of new black/death metal bands. At one point, modern classical-influenced, atonal tech-metal really warranted the avant-garde label. But as the avant-garde ultimately seeks to reshape the current sphere, I’d say this objective was already accomplished sometime in the wake of Fas – Ite, Maledicti in Ignem Aeternum.

Ad Nauseam are swirling, challenging, and apply to virtually any synonym of ‘dissonant’ you can think of, but they aren’t experimental. Gorguts’ Obscura laid the groundwork for this album’s sound nearly twenty years ago. What Ad Nauseaum is, however, is one of the best examples of a new band taking a fresh handle on this sound and imbuing it with the same attention to detail and calculated focus we’d expect to hear from its progenitors.

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est took five years for Ad Nauseam to record in full, and the time and effort really shows. This debut may come as a familiar sound to fans of the great Ulcerate. Sludgy death timbres are further weaponized with an ever-busier sense of composition that far surpasses the garden variety US tech death in the sense of giving its demonstration of technique real weight and substance. Leaving a description of Ad Nauseam as ‘sludgy tech death’ might come partially towards describing their sound, but their reality does without some of the less tactful elements of either school. Unlike sludge, Ad Nauseam never let their anger run amok. Even this album’s most chaotic and noisy bits (the second half of ‘Into the Void Eye’ stands out in this regard) sound akin to an enchained beast. You know said beast could cause untold havoc if Ad Nauseam ever chose to let it go, but they keep it under lock and key, guiding their rage along with utter calculation.

Even if Ad Nauseam’s take on death metal isn’t necessarily ‘new’ per se, that doesn’t stop Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est from being an incredibly challenging listen that requires patience to fully unlock. The first time I put it on felt like an atmospheric haze; their grip of mood surpasses a lot of like-sounding bands, but the songwriting took a surprising number of repeated plays before it really started to sink in. Ad Nauseam are busier than Ulcerate, more atonal than Gorguts, and yet I never fully get a feeling of chaos from what they’re doing here. That’s not a bad thing for their part in it; it’s a matter of intent. Ad Nauseam are the sort of band that have set out to create high art (or, at least as high as death metal can muster) to a recorded medium, and they’ve not left anything up to chance. It’s impossible to pick up on half the nuances on this album until the familiarity sets in. Though I’d reckon the same applies to most substantive tech-death, there’s a new level of appreciation that unfolds once you give this album enough time to adequately connect with you. What comes off as an amorphous flood of avant-garde, technical, and dissonant aggression finally begins to take individual shape. Melody takes hindseat to virtually every other aspect of music here, but some of the swirling guitar leads and dynamic changes (from tech death to equally atonal clean sections and back again) offer something in the way of signposts.

Whatever grievances come up in listening to Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est probably have to do with conscious decisions the band made in developing their style. I am not necessarily looking for melody, but some fresh ingredients to further separate song from song would have helped to liven up the album more, especially during its second half. The homogeneously claustrophobic atmosphere already makes its mark from the first track, and doesn’t really care to evolve to give the fifty-five minute length some helpful dynamic. Also, outside of its vaguely modern classical slant (manifested in boundlessly effective orchestration segments by guitarist Andrea Petucco), I’d hesitate to say Ad Nauseam’s formula has ever cared to reinvent the style we’ve welcomed since Obscura. But a boldness of style is less important than a wealth of substance, and it’s in this respect that Ad Nauseam have truly impressed me. Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est has been laboured over tirelessly, and it’s apparent from the meticulous way they’ve handled everything from the album’s structure to the puzzling sequences of notes you’ll find buried in any given moment. Genuinely experimental they are not, but this debut has already established them as prospective masters of their craft.

THRASHOCORE (IN FRENCH)

(Post) Death Metal, 2015 – Lavadome Productions

 

Avez-vous déjà entendu parlé des Big Data ? Ces études des masses de données informatiques prennent apparemment (pour le béotien vaguement renseigné et paranoïaque que je suis) une place de plus en plus importante dans nos vies, celles-ci ayant permis de définir les critères favorisant à l’époque la réélection de Barack Obama au poste de président des États-Unis. À un niveau moindre, la série à succès House of Cards a profité de statistiques permettant de prédire sa réussite, par une recherche sur les attentes actuelles des spectateurs. Un outil certes flippant (tant il parvient avec justesse à cibler nos goûts les plus particuliers) mais capable d’offrir des créations nécessairement satisfaisantes – quant à savoir si cela tient plus du produit que de l’Art, je laisse la question à de plus doués que moi pour y répondre.

Je dis ça, car j’ai l’impression que Ad Nauseam a profité de ces outils. Ce jeune groupe formé en 2012, aux membres auparavant inconnus au bataillon (issus aux trois quarts de Death Heaven, formation death metal), tape tellement dans le mille avec son premier album qu’il fait se demander s’il n’a pas usé des enquêteurs les plus experts pour composer Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est. Pratiquant un death metal qui se permet d’être affreusement jouissif et technique mais aussi ambiancé où les noms de Gorguts, Ulcerate ou Deathspell Omega viennent rapidement à l’esprit, les Italiens ont bien potassé leurs leçons sur les courants intéressant de plus en plus nombre d’amateurs de metal bac + 5, cela à un point où il devient difficile de dire ce qui tient du recopiage et de l’assimilation complète frôlant le génie.

Car de ce batteur mimant à la perfection John Longstreth (pour sa justesse et sa vigueur à user de tous les types de blasts mis à sa disposition) et Jamie Saint Merat (pour son feeling apparaissant lors des moments aériens) à ces guitares enchaînant sans jamais se perdre mélodies improbables et accrocheuses ainsi que concassages touchant au mathcore, tout paraît taillé pour plaire aux fanatiques de ce death metal hybride, à la fois à l’aise dans la barbarie la plus sauvage que les instants vécus au ralenti dans le Warp. Un style que l’album Colored Sands de Gorguts avait magnifié et auquel Ad Nauseam se permet d’apporter une folie que la musique jouée avec précision de Luc Lemay manquait parfois. Normal après tout, puisque l’on parle d’un groupe italien et que l’on sait que ce pays n’est pas le dernier pour offrir une lecture excessive du metal ! Sur Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, tout est débordant, furieux, perçant et baroque, transmettant parfaitement une atmosphère de guerrier perdu dans la galaxie, le manque d’oxygène lui faisant halluciner des images monstrueuses. Dès « My Buried Dream » et son accélération à trois minutes six secondes tellement vigoureuse qu’elle donne envie de sortir son Bolt, le quatuor choisit le camp du death metal impétueux, raffiné à l’extrême dans son art de la boucherie.

Mais tout cela se révélerait vite fatigant sans quelques riffs dont l’évidence marque au fer et Ad Nauseam l’a bien compris. Celui aimant écrire au stylo bic les passages faisant directement mouche ferait bien de renouveler son stock de papier avant d’écouter ces cinquante-six minutes, des morceaux comme « La Maison Dieu », « Terror Haze » (et son rire terrifiant à deux minutes dix secondes) ou « Into the Void Eye » (et ses orchestrations finales évoquant « The Battle of Chamdo » sur Colored Sands) risquant rapidement de lui faire manquer de quoi noter. Ayant pris le parti de ne pas maquiller leur musique outre-mesure (production limpide au possible), les Italiens ne cherchent à aucun moment à avancer voilés, préférant attaquer de front malgré leurs tactiques élaborées.

Une accroche qui donne envie de poursuivre avec eux de nombreuses traversées dans leurs dédales, mais fait voir les quelques défauts présents ici. Parfois trop lisible dans ses influences (à l’image de « Into the Void Eye » dont les guitares cristallines évoquent à s’y méprendre le Deathspell Omega de Paracletus), Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est montre que derrière une maîtrise impressionnante, Ad Nauseam possède encore une marge de manœuvre pour donner un caractère particulier à son (post) death metal. Peut-être devra-t-il aller davantage vers ces quelques moments noise proches de Daughters et The Locust à l’avenir ? En l’état, ce premier longue-durée reste une œuvre imposante méritant pleinement sa belle pochette signée Manuel Tinnemans. Complètement dans l’air du temps mais possédant quelques à-côtés prometteurs pour le futur, les Italiens gagneront sans doute une popularité méritée, figurant en bonne place dans les bilans de fin d’année. 2015, définitivement un excellent cru !

METAL ORGIE (IN FRENCH)

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est ( 2015 )

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, en voilà un album écrit sous le signe du chaos et l’ordre, tous deux déchaînés et enchaînés au service d’un Death Technique qui emprunte dès ses premiers pas des chemins biscornus et peu foulés auparavant. Ad Nauseam remue sa victime de l’intérieur sans ménagement ni compromis, bien décidé à se faire un trou parmi les formations les plus hostiles à la facilité. Autant dire que les Italiens n’ont pas raté leur cible.

Pas d’énième remake de Scream Bloody Gore ou Altars Of Madness donc, et il faut peu de temps pour réaliser que le groupe semble issu d’une engeance plus récente et plus obscure. On pense à Portal pour son aspect suffocant, Ulcerate et ses riffs en cascade ou de manière moins évidente à un Blut Aus Nord aux sonorités Indus. Voilà à peu près de quoi cadrer brièvement la musique d’un quatuor assez désarmant, où chaque membre s’épanouit à loisir dans son coin et en symbiose. Que le mix a dû être fastidieux au milieu de ces guitares tumultueuses et stridentes, alors que la basse racle tout ce qu’elle peut dans les graves et que le tout est supervisé par un batteur répudiant le simple rôle de métronome pour bastonner à foison. Presque auxiliaire, la voix rajoute simplement une épaisseur supplémentaire, un growl profond mais sans signe distinctif.
Ad Nauseam impose une ambiance abyssale et un rythme nerveux de coups et contre-coups, de schémas éphémères oubliés aussi vite qu’ils sont construits, à la manière d’un Necrophagist option bulldozer (« Key To Timeless Laws »). Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est sonne comme une descente infernale saccadée, aux parois tranchantes et abruptes, proposant comme issue une outro écrasante aux coups de semonce Doomesques.

Tout en sachant plomber très fort, le groupe nuance le propos quand il le faut et sait opérer en toute subtilité. Plus qu’une excellent maîtrise de leurs instruments, les Italiens délivrent un Death Metal en clair obscur; matraquages en règle et arrangements clairs se tournent autour en permanence, abandonnant un auditeur en semi-noyade auquel on octroie quelques bouffées d’oxygène. Les morceaux bénéficient d’une belle fraîcheur, alimentée par des plans plus aérés aux frontières du Prog et du Jazz (« Terror Haze »). En dépit de la complexité du genre, Ad Nauseam oeuvre parfois dans une musique plus douce voire belle : « The Black Veil Of Original Flaw » dévoile notamment un intermède rassurant avant un tremolo picking tout en puissance, brillant par sa mélodie et sa simplicité. « Into The Void’s Eye » s’achève sur une pente de cordes crispantes au même titre que l’intro de « My Buried Dream » qui amorce une plongée de près d’une heure dans l’étrange et le malsain.

Compagnon de scène de The Great Old Ones, Nero Di Marte et Ulcerate, Ad Nauseam a toutes les cartes en main pour rentrer dans la cour des grands. Défricheur et créatif, technique sans être pompeux, le groupe devrait donner du fil à retordre à ses petits camarades adeptes d’un Death aux doigts agiles.

AUX PORTES DU METAL (IN FRENCH)

On ne sait pas grand-chose de ce quartet italien qui sort son tout premier album chez Lavadome.

Ils jouent un death metal à la technique assez développée ; on peut même dire qu’ils ne lésinent pas sur les plans alambiqués et sur la dissonance. Entre les changements de rythmes, de tempo, les cassures, on imagine le cauchemar que ce doit être sur partition. Le(s) guitariste(s) s’en donne(nt) aussi à cœur joie, à grand renfort de palm muting, de bends et d’harmoniques en tout genre.
Les fanas de techniques poussées en auront pour leur argent.
Outre le chaos sonore qui règne en maître, on entend à plusieurs reprises des passages de violon et de piano, interprétés par le guitariste Andrea P. et qui jouent des plans tout aussi torturés que le reste des instruments.

Un truc m’a quand même fâché sur ce disque : à aucun moment je n’ai cessé de penser au fameux Obscura de Gorguts.
C’est simple, on dirait qu’Ad Nauseam a voulu rendre une espèce d’hommage à ce disque qui n’a pas manqué de diviser les fans du groupe à l’époque et qui déclenchera une réaction identique à ceux qui vont découvrir ce style à la première écoute : épidermique, soit on adore, soit on déteste. Et la longueur de l’album ne va pas aider ceux qui détestent à le supporter ; Ad Nauseam le bien nommé.
Même riffing, même son que sur Obscura et la voix fait aussi penser à celle de Luc Lemay, avec moins de coffre ceci dit. Une réplique à l’identique, ou peu s’en faut.
Et autre petit détail qui tue : ils ont même pensé à mettre un titre en français pour un de leurs morceaux.

J’avoue être partagé entre l’enthousiasme que peut susciter un hommage aussi réussi et la perplexité devant un mimétisme aussi patent. Je pense quand même qu’il serait plus sain pour Ad Nauseam de changer un peu de créneau sur le prochain album ; car le soufflé déjà un peu refroidi risque de définitivement retomber s’il est resservi à l’identique.
Pour atteindre le niveau d’un Ulcerate, qui a brillamment réussi à s’approprier les mêmes influences en livrant une musique très personnelle, il y a encore pas mal de chemin à faire

METAL TRENCHES (IN ENGLISH)

There’s no other way of saying it: if you like Ulcerate, you will most likely dig Ad Nauseam. Those who are familiar with Ulcerate’s unique brand of ordered, technical frenzy will know what to expect. Those drums though. Magnificent. The fact that there is more than one person out there pulling off these lightning time changes without falling victim to “Bonitis” (Futurama anyone?) is shocking to me. I can barely keep up wrapping my fingertips.

Guitars are a thunderstorm of rattling tremolos that shift and contort in response to the insatiable rhythms. There’s such violence in the sheer speed and ferocity of the sliding, vacillating notes. This is an aerobic workout for the fingers. A full-sprint marathon. There are the occasional rests on tracks like “La Maison Diev,” but it’s mostly full speed to the abyss.

Ad Nauseam does throw in a few tricks tricks of their own. “A Key to Timeless Laws” throws in some frightening, shrieking violins to compliment the chaotic solo that follows. Or there’s the terrifying, Giganish guitar part on “Into the Void Eye.” And I love the creepy piano flourishes in “The Black Veil.” These classical additions pop up throughout the album and add a finishing touch.

So if you love you some highly technical metal to the nth degree, grab Ad Nauseam today. Another great release of 2015.

EMINENT SILENCE (IN ENGLISH)

To say Ad Nauseam remind me a little of Gorguts is both an understatement and an injustice at the same time.  The intricate riffing and scathing, jarring sounds of most of “Nihil…” has Luc Lemay written all over it and that’s a fine influence to wear very proudly.  But at the same time there is so much more to the record than just complex DM.  As I sit here with the last throes of the final track stamping it’s harsh doom laden final rites all over me I am almost backstage at an Electric Wizard gig.  On other occasions I am lost in the swirling, murky and horrific madness of a Portal or Impetuous Ritual record.  Also there is the dark grandeur of Deathspell Omega looming in the background across much of the record.

Whatever influences we want to talk of in regards to this record the overriding message is that the whole thing is very well put together.  Whether it is the looping time changes or the reckless fury of the riffing as it oddballs it’s way through proggy interludes into spazzing DM structures (check out album opener “My Buried Dream”), there is a real sense of thought in each track.  It isn’t just a few tracks placed on a disc or track list for your listening pleasure, instead you get whacked in the face with a giant chain mail gauntlet before it gets thrown onto the ground in front of you demanding to be picked up!

The danger when you throw all manner of styles and influences into a record is that it suffers from a lack of cohesion but never at any point during the 8 tracks on offer does that come across. Even the really oddball moments aren’t entirely alien in the context of the whole.  Fuck knows what instrument starts off the furious solo on “Key To Timeless Laws” (I have it pinned down to a mouth organ (harmonica) or really badly tuned guitar at present) but the whole thing compliments the sound perfectly.
Key to the success of any album in breaking the old end of year list is delivering something not necessarily new but somehow a dramatic retake of an established format done with precision and thought.  “Nihil…” is so well thought out it is almost organic in its sound and delivery.  It is well produced and has obvious talent behind each instrument and songwriting occurence.  The horror of the menacing catch to the guitar work on “Into the Void Eye” is planned and timed to perfection, coming in on track 4 forces you to think more – just when you thought you might just be getting your head around this record eh?  The agony of the screeching violins to close this track will stay with you for a while I assure you.

Dissonant, discordant and complicated though it is, by spin number two of this record you’ll be unable to put it down as you know each successive spin will unfurl more treats for your brain to try and digest.  “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” should scare the pants off you but you’ll love it for doing so.  It is the bogeyman under your bed, the thing from the bottom of the lake that shouldn’t have form yet somehow it lives and breathes and you just can’t tear your eyes away from it.
5/5

CRYPTOLOGOUS (IN ENGLISH)

Ad Nauseam – Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est (2015, Veneto, Italy) – The advent of post-modern tech-death has been an absolute doozy. Bands like #Ulcerate , #Gorguts , #DeathspellOmega , and more have stretched their wings and leapt forth in unison to present some of the most disturbing, atmospheric work that metal has ever seen. Italy’s Ad Nauseam continue in the dissonant, warped trend with “Nihil Quam-“, an absolutely demented piece of techy work. Guitars wobble and frantically jump around, drum playing is a flurry of blasts and jazzy interludes, bass work is vibrant yet hauntingly atonal and in this case, metallic in sound which suits the warmer-than-usual production ridiculously well. The band’s sense of structure isn’t quite as refined as Gorguts, and their levels of dizzying dissonance are still fairly light compared to Ulcerate, but the final package is absolutely essential for fans of the new wave of atmospheric tech-death. – To stay on a positive, this is one of the most visually appealing art works in death metal from the past year. It’s been said before and will be repeated now; black and white generally bores me. But Ad Nauseam don’t really care and made a damn interesting (if not a little cliched) album art just to annoy the likes of myself. It is avant-garde death metal on a visual medium, and for that I can only give the highest recommendation; buy the sucker on vinyl. – You can purchase “Nihil Quam-” physically from Lavadome, and digitally from Bandcamp