Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 6/28/2005
The Nihilist Demos
posted on 6/2005 By:
Lets make a quick run of the formalities and then get on with the real critique. Getting their start at the tail end of the 1980s, Nihilist were one of the very first acts to distill the Swedish death metal formula. The core of the group would go on to form one of the most enduring metal acts of all time in Entombed, while bassist Johnny Hedlund would leave his mark on Swedish death metal with Unleashed. What this release offers is the entire Nihilist demo discography; no more, no less. While there's no bonus tracks, sound refinement, or new material on display, these recordings are a must own for anyone seeking perspective on one of metal's most exciting movements.
Nihilist took the still developing template of state-side death metallers Death and Possessed, infused it with melodic counterpoint riffing and filtered it through gut-wrenchingly overdriven guitars to create a timeless form of death metal that was more focused on songcraft than showmanship. Even in their early days, Nihilist displayed a keen sense of how to resolve riff patterns to provide memorable moments within a song. "Carnal Leftovers" is a clinic on how to properly arrange a set of four or five rudimentary riffs in order to create a whole that shines far brighter than its parts. The logic behind these compositions, intentional or not, makes for songs death metal fans can continually slip into like a well worn pair of shoes.. It's that effortless. The lurching "Face of Evil," "Morbid Devourment," and "When Life Has Ceased" show a kinship to Florida's Obituary by juxtaposing doom-like sections against mid paced riff marches and melodic lead work. The recurring theme throughout these demos is Nihilist's use of death metal's fundamentals to create actual songs rather than merely exploiting the underground appeal of distorted guitars and harsh vocals.
While it's clear that the trademark Sunlight Studio sound was still in development during the recording of these demos, the cooperation between rusty chainsaws and real bass players is able to create rich and full sounding compositions. It's definitely a great idea, althought not rendered nearly as effectively as Dismember's Like an Everflowing Stream or Seance's Saltrubbed Eyes.
For Swedish death metal enthusiasts, The Nihilist Demos offer more than just a trip down memory lane. These are great songs that would eventually spawn great bands and great records. That's a lot of 'great' in one sentence. But, I assure you, it's warranted. Threeman Recordings have done a valuable service to the metal community by putting songs everyone should hear in one place. It's an opportunity worth taking.
Register to post comments.