Have you ever had a really sticky candy? Like a cheap-but-tasty, too-dense jellybean? Or a molar-ripping caramel-filled chocolate bar? Something that is gummy and irresistible and so tasty—and possibly just a bit poisonous…
That is what Nachtvorst’s “Silence” is, in sonic form. This is chewy, heavy black metal sludge. And it’s delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever heard black metal with guitar tones as fat as the ones on doomy opener ‘The Serpent’s Tongue.’
Not that “Silence” is any sort of conventional black metal anyway. Aside from the thick guitar sound, the tempos don’t fit into either stereotypical black metal blasting or hypnotic Burzum-type rhythms.
‘Nightwinds’ starts off crusty and up-tempo, with a thrash feel and riffs that would not be out of place in a Down or Eyehategod song, before transitioning into a slower and more atmospheric second half that reveals Nachtvorst’s penchant for linear arrangements. All over “Silence” the tracks progress from metallic to ethereal, distortion to delicacy; this is true within the songs and of the sequence of the album.
It’s great to see black metal artists like Nachtvorst synthesizing new sounds from diverse and relatively unexplored combinations. For example, the desperate shrieks of black metal over ponderous, pendulous guitars, as in ‘Gentle Notice of a Final Breath’ make for a truly threatening sonic atmosphere.
That’s a breath of fresh air in an extreme metal community that still needs more lessons in how to make heaviness out of things other than extremity itself. I want to hear what Nachtvorst do next; they are poised to take the next step and become truly powerful leaders. Outstanding.