Welcome to The Nihilistic Front of Australia! Nope it is not some ominous end of the world cult but a misanthropic doom death band from the land of Disembowelment. This band from Melbourne consist of a duo who have served time in various other acts in the underground and released three albums and an EP since they formed in 2005. This is not a proper release as such and indeed you will not be able to pick it up as the label have so far put together just 8 handmade copies of this for promotion purposes. It is intended as a taster for forthcoming release ‘Procession To Annihilation’ due out soon.

This contains just four tracks but weighs in at a mammoth running time of 67 minutes. This is not a band that do short songs, it is not a band that do fast ones either as the meaty strains of ‘The Four Seasons In Misery’ from 2007 take form. Set over some sampled or spoken words I was reminded of the down tempo morass of bands like Dragged Into Sunlight at first before this monster uncoiled. It is dark as tar and just as sluggish, heavy as lead but slow as creeping death. There is a ritualistic foulness about it and it is bereft of all hope. Guitar lines at times shimmer and cut in elongated coils that are out of some Bauhausian nightmare and the likes of Esoteric could also be mentioned due to the dark nightmarish vibe this casts. Considering this track is 20 minutes long, there is little mercy and no chance of an easy let off from its torturous embrace. Even when there is a burst of speed and the drums are suddenly battered in a hasty fashion it lasts just momentarily. It’s the high pitched blood curdling echo laden vocals that perhaps remind most of Esoteric, we get them at the start of ‘The Null Factor Law.’ The main vocal delivery however is low and growling and vocalist Chris Newell’s intonations match the mood of the music as they are also delivered without any rush but slowly and deliberately.

There is a bit more of an industrial feel to ‘The Vehemence Of Self Denial’ it is kind of like Godflesh on slow and the drums deliver a thick and punishing bombast. This is undeniably faster but is still at a crawl and there is some nice thick screaming guitar cadences as well as some ghostly samples sounding like they have come from some very foul mouthed gangster film from the 80s. It is obvious that the band are finding their stride by now. Spoken word parts on the track around fluttering guitar strains are particularly effective and apocalyptic. Finally we get to the newest number from 2011. ‘Masochistic Hate Surge’ is a great title and it sounds like ole Charlie the staple of many a band bringing it on sample wise. It’s got a sludge like feel to it and is again like wading through sticky tar, getting nowhere fast. It kind of makes you feel like you need a good shower to rub it all out of your system too. It’s nasty and certainly lives up to its hateful title as it bounds into a much deathlier tumult that really rattles your senses after so much sluggishness before it.

So it is obvious that this is not for everyone but for those that can endure the pain brings great pleasure with it. This has certainly served its purpose and given me a good introduction to The Nihilistic Front and I wait for more horror expectantly when the new album arrives.

(7/10 Pete Woods)