Nirnaeth are now into their 16th Year and bring along their brand of blackened, technical death metal focusing again on Satanism and the occult. ‘From Shadow To Flesh’ is their 3rd full length, in a career which has also been speckled with a demo, E.P and a split with Azziard in 2016.
‘From Shadow To Flesh’ utilises a raw classic black metal sound, tinged with modern elements, to create a technical melodic death metal stance. It is formulated with 9 tracks and opens with ‘Dying Of The Day’ which sets out the bands intentions to annihilate the listener with a heavy dose of brutality and malice. Zigouille brings the guttural and compounded vocals, and is bolstered with the intricacy and technicality of Mutill and Marbas on the guitars.
The name Nirnaeth literally means ‘Tears’ in Sindarin, a language from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and although tears would normally conjure up images of delicate and fragile structures, this doesn’t represent the beast that has been conceived from this French quintet.
‘Been There Before’, ‘The Crater’ and ‘Cursed’ are all colossal, and goliaths in their own structures. Vagorn and Malaria work in harmony on the drums and bass respectively, yet manage to create a crunching and haunting mainstay to the soul and flesh of the makeup to this production.
‘In Nomine Ego’ is leviathan and exposes the talents of each affiliate of this French troop, with Zigouille excelling yet again. He seems to be the conductor on this track, with his band mates acting as his marionettes, dancing and moving with precise actions to his bitter and noxious vocal articulated commands.
‘Nihil In Me’ is evocative yet powerful from the outset, and it is lasting in the mind as an influential and prevailing power in this chronicle. All members of the band vie for control but the muscle and ability of Vagorns drums succeed to take the helm and drive the track forward with sophisticated savagery and ferocity.
‘Once A Shadow’ is the shortest track on the release, and acts as a short sharp shock and a wakeup call to the battered senses. It is formidable and weighty, yet oozes technicality and ability. Malaria shines, and holds the leash with pulsating and hammering bass lines throughout the track, with the intricacy and clinical precision being offered up from the other band members. The detail on the track leaves no doubt that the band has the ability tenfold and they showcase it in all its glory within the albums 39 minutes lifespan.
‘Possession’ and ‘Forgotten And Chained’ bring the album to a close, with an increase in the rage being exuded, in the climb to the pivotal climax of this creation. The album will leave your psyche and core crippled and fragmented, yet the chilling silence that falls once the final chords ring out will give you the chance to evaluate the carnage that you have just endured, and give you the chance to recharge your batteries from the gratifying riot that you have willingly been a part of.
Don’t be mistaken, this doesn’t simply sit in the camp of pure raw black metal, nor does it fit into the segment of punishing, brutal death metal, but if you like your genres to cross over, then this will definitely not leave you disappointed.
(8/10 Phil Pountney)