Monday, November 26, 2012
Class of 2012: Nihill - Verdonkermaan
Verdonkermaan starts with "Vurr: the deathwind of resurrection," a noisy and rather punishing track. The vocal delivery is top-notch, primarily of the black metal sort with a hint of a death growl at times.
Next comes "Spiral: the tail eater," considerably slower and hypnotic for its first 2 minutes. This song and the next ("Oerbron: returning to the primal matter") are the album's high points. "Oerbron" is more like the first track but takes an interesting turn from about 3:30 to 7:00. During this section of the song, you'll hear howling and growling over avant-garde noise that very nearly becomes Sonic Youth-y.
Unfortunately, after such great heights, we're met with "Gnosis Pt. IV." At nearly 7 minutes, it's too long and doesn't go anywhere. It's basically whispering over atmospheric noise and is similar to parts 1-3 that appear on Krach. It could perhaps be tolerable if it only lasted a couple of minutes or if it featured more intriguing background sounds.
The record ends with more of what works for Nihill. "Trauma: crushing serpens mercuriales" is neither terribly fast nor slow yet chugs along and effectively brings the album to a close.
Verdonkermaan contains 4 songs that range from very good to great, but it also includes an unnecessary miscue. Nonetheless, it's still worth checking out, especially if you're a glutton for punishment.
Grade: B- (80.0%)