One word: focused song-writing.
Ok, so maybe it was more than one word, but these guys really had me going cherry-picking here, because this EP was a bit hard to review. I’d like to say I’m familiar enough to all the styles that are blended here, yet it all comes out as something of a “love it or hate it” kind of thing, while I found myself strangely stuck in the middle.
Let me just go about recognizing that the start point of this recording is an absolute monster. I think I’ve never heard such mammoth riffing since Jesu’s Heartache EP (any connection to the title track? because it’s too good of a pun…), but I feel the extended droning parts are distracting and take away the whole cohesion of the song. That, coupled with the lack of a real climax (or one that comes about way too late to in the song) made for a jarring listening experience, as I found myself liking only the sludgy moments of it.
The second track, however, is what the first one should have been all along: clear passages, good flow and rhythm, a perfect placement of a guitar solo (which sludge records aren’t exactly known for) and overall a great listening experience. This one reminded me of Year of No Light’s “Nord” album, and that’s saying a lot.
Message Of Nihil… goes about like a standard drone piece. I can get what they’re saying in relation to the title, it’s meant to be something unworldly, but it dissipates to just background noise. I guess it lacks the atmosphere to back it up (which can be a pain in the ass when one opts to record a drone track).
The closing piece, Forgotten Is What Never Was, plays out with a bit of everything but the general focus here is on doom. Long, sustained notes, minimal and somewhat tribal sounding drums, scarce vocals; it fades out to a wall of sound that, oddly enough, reminded me of Opeth’s “Hex Omega”. And we arrive to that conclusion that I’ve opened this review with:
While this is a great debut all around, it lacks individuality. I feel it borrows too much from all the bands that have influenced it, without actually creating something of its own. But that, as they say, only time and experience can define. I hope that Goatooth and Alpha can gather what they have learned with this recording and make something truly unique when they’ll follow up with another release, because the talent is there and it would be a shame to go to waste.
Anyways, because I’m starting to get all melodramatic and all, I invite all thee to check-up on these two ukrainian brothers in metal and have a listen for yourself at http://nonsun.bandcamp.com/. And if you like them, go to their page http://www.facebook.com/NonsunDoom and say hi. They’re definitely worth it.
P.S: Guys, if you happen to hit Romania, give us a shout, maybe we’ll be able to attend the show.