Review: “Beyond Human Concepts” by Nihility

Two years after the release of their debut album “Thus Spoke The Antichrist”, Portuguese Blackened Death Metal quartet Nihility have returned with “Beyond Human Concepts“, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Pedro Mendes at Ultrasound Studios in Braga. While their debut showed great promise with its powerful mixture of brutal Death Metal riffs, complex rhythms and frosty Black Metal melodies, this time around the band are hoping to showcase more maturity and sharper execution, drawing from a well-rounded palette of influences ranging from the brutality of  Cannibal Corpse to the the technicalities and bitter cold melodies of Necrophobic.

Perhaps the album title is a reference to something that is beyond Human comprehension but as soon as the Groove laden Death Metal riffs of “Martyrdom For The Herd” hit courtesy of Renato Barbosa, all you’re going to be interested in is banging your head. The funky bass tones of Miguel Seewald are allowed to bleed through in the mix and add another dimension to the hell raising opening and that’s even before the face melting mesmerising solo hits. “Hubris” then gallops away with Luís Moreira offering a tour de force of Death Metal kit work inspired by at least the past decades and while they haven’t tempered any of their savage nature, Nihility have improved their craftsmanship through dedication and hard work in every department since their debut. It’s the kind of natural progression that is anticipated but doesn’t always come to fruition and the Nihility sound is all the better for it. We often speak about vocalist and how their is a fine line between styles whereby the vocals are simply another instrument if they’re incomprehensible and here Mário Ferreira’s performance is one that blesses us with the depth of lyric and the ability to hear it while also being as ear splitting as they come “Destroy The Shackles Of Prejudice” being a fine example with a sublime solo to add the weight of gravity to it all. Then you have Grindcore inspired speed of “Human Stupidity“, which also has a stunning solo is another notch on the bands bed post as it seems there is nothing this band can not touch that doesn’t turn to gold. Underneath the complexities and Death Metal overtones you can trace back the roots of influence to bands like Pantera and Lamb Of God and in so doing unexpectedly Nihility may have created something of a gateway record for fans of those bands to get themselves deeper into the darkness. “Will To Power” isn’t the Arch Enemy cover that some might have expected but packs just as much punch with another spellbinding solo that puts Barbosa on watch lists for manufacturer endorsements, such is the quality on display throughout this record. The only surprise is that they don’t have a second guitarist and when it comes to playing live they sound like they might need one. The Spanish influences on the title track that are surrounded by a whirlwind of Black Metal percussive battery are immense and help make the title track an absolute monster. It should be said that bands don’t always pick their finest cut for the title track in the current day and age and they should because when you have something this powerful it makes a real difference. The spoken word before the final crescendo is an absolute masterstroke of atmosphere before the closing instrumental “Sea Of Thoughts“. This is insanely good, your eardrums will thank you for listening to it [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1.    Martyrdom For The Herd
  2.    Hubris
  3.    Destroy The Shackles Of Prejudice
  4.    Human Stupidity
  5.    Conflicting Vanities
  6.    Will To Power
  7.    The Religious Dogma
  8.    Beyond Human Concepts
  9.    Sea Of Thoughts

Beyond Human Concepts” by Nihility is out 7th January 2022 via Vicious Instinct Records and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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