Mar Mortuum - Nihilistic Advance (Impure Sounds)

Black metal, of the Nihilistic kind...
Release Date: 
12 Dec 2014 - 12:30am

Not just black metal but nihilistic black metal. Regardless of their desire to add additional adjectives to the (relatively) simply term of 'black metal' Mar Mortuum's debut Nihilistic Advance is some pretty damned sweet black metal (Nihilistic or other) - you'd be hard pressed not to imagine these icy fellows hailing from some Scandinavian frost bedecked castle but no, this trio hail from Melbourne and can certainly hold their own against their European counter-parts. Kicking off with Viral Heaving Death, there's no holding back and you're almost, but not quite, literally pummelled by AsAutumn's drums while the thick and low guitars strip the flesh from your bones care of Morgue. I'm digging this opening track because the sound isn't thin and scratchy like a cheap blanket. It's got some meat to it and vocalist M busts out some harsh throaty singing. Just under the five minute mark I thought my speakers had blown but those cheeky Mar Mortuum fellows had just dropped everything back to a whisper before coming back at me for a slower paced outro (well, not quite an outro - it admittedly goes for another three minutes or so) with some suitably morbid soloing. A marvellous start.

A good old fashioned black metal shriek from M indicates the start of Of the Black Sky...We Drink and I have to give it to M - he does a bloody good job; in fact, all three members do this 'nihilistic black metal' thing very, very well. I can't distinguish it from plain old black metal but that's irrelevant - I really am loving this album and the production on here is top-notch. Obviously if you're not a big fan of black metal then you probably won't dig this but if you're not a fan of this particular genre then maybe you should just fuck off? 'Simples' as that rat on the telly says...

But it's not all blasting and screeching; Mar Mortuum have a firm grasp of structure and know when to slow things down like the cruel and cold sections of Fire of Ascension or the ringing opening chords of Enlightened Vicious Scorn (which admittedly goes ape-shit soon after). There are 10 tracks on here and I'm not going to dissect each and every one - though I will say I was especially fond of the title track, Nihilistic Advance, with its weird divergent nature - they're all pretty bloody good so sort your life out and give Nihilistic Advance a go. The album drops in December and I think it's going to make a bloody big splash in the black metal scum-pool.