NigredoThis may only be a four track EP but its intentions are made more than clear straight off, this lot mean business. Nigredo are a duo from Athens Greece and drummer Maelstrom has been hitting things hard in a huge array of bands stretching from ancient clans such as Thou are Lord to more recent revered cults such as Dodsferd and Ravencult. By comparison and handling everything else it would seem that A (guitars, bass and vocals) is a fledgling by having just previously participated in thrash metal band Exarsis. Nigredo like their name suggests are much more pitch-black in execution and indeed take an orthodox approach to their craft on these four numbers.

There’s no need or time for an intro as opening track MLR batters in with fists flailing and choppy riffs with a deadly thorny precision jaggedly piercing away in them. It’s fast and furious and vocals match with a huge sense of bitterness and contempt about them with some big emphasis occasionally loudly booming out. I am reminded a little of the likes of Watain with some of the riffing and also with the vocals there’s a touch of bands such as Aura Noir and Cadaver Inc going on here. There’s little time to get to the roots of it all though as it is like being flung straight into a seething maelstrom and caught in a vortex on this one. ‘Visions From The Sepulcher’ (sic) slows it down slightly before picking up into a black thrashing gallop that tears away with a good muscular melodic thrust about it. Vocals gurgle and gargle away sounding pissed off in the extreme and the sense of chaos is inherent despite any melody, it feels like it could all come apart and unstitched at the seams although keeps admirably blasting away with a real grim underlying feel about it all. Some hollered out vocal parts really work well when the track does become obtusely convoluted before a final mad dash to the finish.

‘Nihilistic Iniquity’ is full of barbed riffs and stings away with the driving force prevalent over most of the disc. A bit of a bouncy melody adds a punk etched ballast and vocals sound like they are being vomited out giving it all a filthy edge. It’s great head-banging fury with a well-placed shimmering break and death grunt thrown in for good measure. Ugly and hateful till the end last track, ‘The Wandering Exile’ has a feel of cadaverous gloom and doom about it as it explores labyrinthine tombs crumbling and desecrated with full on flurrying guitar whiplashes lighting the way and drums crunching bones to dust.

I have given Facets Of Death a fair few spins since it dropped, hardly difficult as it is just short of 20 minutes. It impressed on the very first listen and I have soaked up the barraging extremity with pleasure on repeated plays. For an opening statement this is hard to ignore and I hope it is not long before more material in the form of a full length album emerges.

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)