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Required Sacrifices

Nihilistikrypt hail from Estonia. Consulting my big metal map, I see firstly that Estonia sits nestled between Russia and Latvia, gained independence in 1918 but was forced into the Soviet Union in 1940. Other than that, off the top of my head, I know that a whole bunch of grim and frostbitten underground black metal bands have come from the republic of Estonia, but Nihilistikrypt are the first death metal band I’ve ever come across from that region.
Right off the bat let me tell you that the band has pulled out all of the stops with respect to the presentation of their demo. There’s a plush glossy photo montage of the band (looking suitably necro and serious, Ron Jeremy T shirts not withstanding), a professional looking cd and inlay (complete with full lyrics sheet, in English) and a promotional flyer. If there were bonus points for trying, I'd be giving the boys from NK top of the class status. Happily, the music’s far from shabby too.
For the most part, what we have here is melodically informed though not intrinsically melodic metal of mid tempo variety, with some nice riffage and twists and turns on the expected norm. Musicianship is extremely tight, particularly for a band still in its infancy (being less than a year old), with the skills of the individual members being exceptionally well developed. In particular, my congratulations go to drummer Mart “Port” Metsma (who looks like a short haired stunt double for The Haunted's Jensen!), for his stellar performance on the drums. His skills are really well demonstrated here, not so much in terms of speed, but in the inventive skills and how adept he is at some of the jarring time changes (such as in the charmingly titled “I hate everything”).
Both the quality of the riffs and the solo playing are good, and the vocals (courtesy of Uziel and Orc – not green, I checked) are pleasingly gruff, deep and brutal in the best traditions of death metal. There are some really really nice touches here, such as the Immortal-esque introduction to “Virus: Human”, or the skronking atmospherics of “Thoughts of a misanthrope”. There are but a few down points about the release, not least of which is that the production is a trifle thin, which robs the band some of its undoubted power (I can imagine that a modern production, such as that used by bands like Aborted would elevate the songs here to a greater level), but then we can’t expect a demo to sound like the whole polished article. As it is, this is a demo that sits head and shoulders above the vast majority of their peers.
As the Estonian travel site says, “Discover Estonia and you will see it is phenomenal. Like Alice in her Wonderland, you will find there is even more to see in Estonia than you have dreamed about. The dream world becomes real and the reality is unbelievable.” Now there’s another reason to travel there: the misanthropic metal of Nihilistikrypt.

Author: Chris Davis
Zine: Live 4 Metal

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