Sunday, 5 May 2013




Sunday's Afterburner was fantastic. The Green Room saw the exhibition of the band of the day as far as I was concerned: NIHILL. The Dutch are co-responsible for spreading the most lethal of recent black metal plagues, together with other malignant entities such as Dodechaedron, Aosoth, Svartidau├░i, not to mention veteran deviant Dutch experimentalist Gnaw Their Tongues, and would definitely enflame the guts of early Deathspell Omega and Blut aus Nord fans. The band set up mysteriously hidden behind closed thick curtains, while the room began to fill up. Once again, this was to be their stage debut. When the curtains withdrew, a dark, and foggy stage was revealed, dimly lit by the black & white projection of an intricate and unsettling-looking forest. The drummer took his place, then the waif-like figure of the bass player walked on stage, his white face framed by jet black hair. Quite a sight… Hooded guitarists and a threatening-looking singer joined them, as a dense cloud of malevolent, suffocating noise-drone filled the air. Do not ask me how it all began, but suddenly I was in the midst of an exhilarating storm of ice! The starkly cold violence, the foreboding noise/ambience, the bleak and unforgiving absence of hooks or light fissures should have provoked an asphyxiating sensation, but Nihill provided nothing but pure delight by indulging us in a majestic display of fierce BM blasted almost all the way through. Few and far between were the slow paced, ominous tracks that characterized most of their 2007 monster “Krach”, while it was the ├╝ber cold/fast stuff off the magnificent (sold-out) “Verdonkermaan” that sandblasted a stage sinisterly plunged in complete darkness; only a few plasma-white lights pierced the dense fog, illuminating the dark silhouettes of the musicians from behind. More than once I found myself covered in goose-bumps, aware of assisting to a top quality black metal show from the Dutch, who ended up featuring at the very top of my favorite Roadburn acts this year. 


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