Nithing - Agonal Hymns
New Standard Elite
Brutal Death Metal
9 songs (23:32)
Release year: 2023
Bandcamp, New Standard Elite
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Sometimes, a piece of cover art says it all. The deranged cover to Agonal Hymns features a beaten face with empty bubbles for a head, or perhaps it's the long-distant wound from some alien knuckledusters? Either way, it speaks to the devastating results of these twenty-three odd minutes, the debut full-length from Nithing, a one-man project helmed by current Gorgasm drummer Matt Kilmer. Full-length? At twenty-three minutes?! Making this twice as long would halve the impact, honestly - Agonal Hymns is as good as it is because each song is short, sharp, and to the point, with the longest track still under four minutes long. The obvious comparison, aside from Kilmer's day job, will be to German brutalisers Defeated Sanity, who also take the building blocks of death metal and create something truly pulverising and otherworldly from them.

Yet Nithing do enough to be different, from the endless Chinese water-torture of the drums, a downpour of snare-heavy battering, to the focused and twisted guitar riffs, often blended out of the mix but just as likely to throw in an eerie melody or a downright weird noise. Vocals are the sort of disgusting gurgle you often get from the most brutal of bands, and entirely fit in the with the general otherworldly atmosphere. There are even guitar solos, such as Emetic Rapture's widdly but uneasy moment of melody amidst the chaos, or Wreathed in Sores' deranged explosion. It's all as though a technical group like Artificial Brain were blended down into a very gory grind.

And although experienced brutal death fans will have heard similar things before, there's still much here to impress and surprise, such as the near-industrial opening to Lustral Cognitive Erosion, which soon blasts into an early Berzerker-esque flurry of noise. The ominous basswork towards the end of Feverish Pemphigoid Worship builds tension nicely for the ensuing Seeping Pus of Ancient Wounds, for instance. And the closing Of Those Immortal Longing for Decease takes a more straightforwardly brutal death approach relative to the rest of the album, with more soloing and grooving riffs, and somehow manages to make it sound even more unhinged. The best brutal death metal should leave you feeling rocked and defeated, hit by a train at full speed, and Nithing certainly do that.

Killing Songs :
Emetic Rapture, Wreathed in Sores, Of Those Immortal Longing for Decease
Goat quoted 82 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Oct 10, 2023 3:28 pm
View and Post comments