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Required Sacrifices

Nihilistikrypt is the new Estonian all stars death metal band combining figures well-known in the local metal scene from bands such as Ignorabimus, Spellbinder, Ecthalion, Irdhing and Catafalc.

Thus what we're dealing here is not an incidental combo, but a well-chosen group of people with a firm goal to reach outside of the borders of their homeland and an affection for metal music as well as top grade musicianship.

The first step is taken – the band's debut EP "Required Sacrifices" recently saw the light of day. Before getting down to critisizing the soundscapes emanating from the disc one has to acknowledge the sleeve design, drawn by Luix – and artist soon probably better known as the local equivalent of H. R. Giger (also responsible for the sleeve designs of the latest Surrogoat and Must Missa releases).

Musically we're talking of melodic-technical mid-tempo misanthropic death metal. The composition of songs is somewhat unpredictable; a melody with a varying measure develops into morbid-sounding riffing, yet still remains seamless, which all in all makes this nine-track disk an especially pithy and enjoyable earful. The acoustic instrumental interlude "Enjoy the Violence" has a melancholy effect, as well as the creepy outro, which babes-in-arms should listen to while under parental supervision and which I wouldn't even recommend to the jumpier listener. A lot of hard work has gone into the vocal parts – no monotonous growling here, but moderate doses of backing vocals.

Unfortunately there aren't any bad songs on the record, which makes the overall picture a bit low on contrasts. Soundwise, the bass drum harrows the ear a bit, but only in the beginning; when absorbed in music, you cease to notice it soon. There's also a lack of overall massiveness, which means the best sound setup for listening to this one should be high on bass and volume.

The material is recorded and mixed at the Krypt Studio under the tattooed hand, stern gaze and sharp ear of one of the members, Sorts, and mastered at the US company Imperial Mastering. One must wonder how much, if any, this adds to the final result, but mastering abroad seems to have become a trend in Estonian metal.

Best song: "Virus: Human". You'll probably start to like the disc only after several listenings, which, according to your's truly, is the most important criterium of good music. The release has no place in the collection of a hardened fan of nu or brutal metal.


Author: Ando
Zine: HRC Online

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