Saturday, 13 December 2014


NIHILL: "Verderf" 
Album Presentation

With Wiegedood and Wederganger

Live at 013 Poppodium Tilburg (NL), 06/12 2014

 Text by Guido Segers
Photos by Herman Stehouwer

Nihill is a band on the rise, getting better with every record and every show the group plays. The new album ‘Verderf’ on Burning World Records is highly anticipated and welcomed with much love and adoration by the general music press. Even the Dutch national news papers have been lyrical about the band’s latest album. Tonight Nihill is expected to live up to the high expectations in a live setting, which has not been a problem in the past as yet.
The band has a tendency to be rather overwhelming, both visually as well as aurally. The sonic baptism in cold hatred I received earlier this year, when Nihill supported the one and only Mayhem, was an experience I cherish. Mayhem may be a legendary band in the genre, but the Dutch guys blew them away and demonstrated an unfamiliar majesty during that live show. ‘Verderf’ is pushing the envelope even more, implementing noise and industrial experimentation into the already harsh sound of Nihill. Inside the 013, the record is about to be unleashed in its full glory.

The first band to play tonight is Wiegedood. The sound of the Belgians is heavy and full of atmosphere, living up to what one may expect from acts such as Rise & Fall, Oathbreaker, Hessian and Amenra. Their take on black metal reeks of hardcore, which is not a bad thing at all if you pull off the blackened sound live. That is something these guys do very well, creating a steady, pulsating sound with an edge of hope in it, if I may say so. The yellow light blazing behind the band does a lot for the atmosphere, making it hard to look at the band bathed in sun-like light. Although they play black metal, it feels like being immersed in warm waters and I must admit enjoying the pleasant feeling of going under to their sound. The sludge elements, though played with clear ferocity, create a feeling of calmness in the current of their sound. During their half-hour set Wiegedood does not display the variation that you might expect, still they are a welcome and convincing opener.

Gelderland’s Arnhem region has a tight knit metal family, experimenting on the borders of black metal, folk metal and such. This has in the past created some intriguing and unique bands, like Heidevolk, Mondvolland and Fluisterwoud. No surprise here that Wederganger consists of former members of these bands, bringing their own take on the genre to the stage. The set gets underway hastily: some incense is burned and the band tries to make an entrance. It may be the nerves, but that doesn’t work out too well. No matter, the music is what counts. The peculiar mix of harsh pagan black metal (with amazing lyrics by the way) and epic vocals is a combination not everyone will appreciate with equal enthusiasm. Still, the band plays with an intensity and passion that should win over even the most purist of the listeners. Unfortunately the band needs most of the set to actually get going today. That is a shame, because the powerful closers are definitely something that would have captivated the crowd.

The time has come for the main act to get onto the stage. Nihill hide behind curtains until those are removed for the set to begin. The smoke has dissolved too quickly so the band walks onto the stage with a just little trickle of mist around their feet. When the first heavy sounds envelope the venue the smoke starts to rise and coil again around vocalist Michiel Eikenaar, fully blocking out the rest of the band on the small stage of the 013. Harsh black metal with a martial feel cuts through the fog and hits the ear drums of the audience, while Eikenaar begins to deliver a thundering performance in the form of a mighty speech. He points sharply at the audience, while delivering his words.

The color of the lighting is red, like the album cover of ‘Verderf’. Where in the past the band sounded like a cold raging machine, this new transformation turns them into a fiery cauldron of hatred towards the human race. Raw black metal with fierce rhythms overwhelms the visitors, while the imposing figure of Eikenaar barks his vocals at the crowd. Elements of industrial and noise are mixed in, creating an even more inhuman and distant sound. The pounding rhythms and hectic sounds keep coming, leaving no space for the listeners to relax at any point during the performance, which clocks in at just under an hour. The dense atmosphere created by the band is slowly chocking the audience, which is probably why not everyone endures the set of the Dutch black metal kings until the end.
An imposing show has presented the new album 'Verderf' in its full glory, blowing away and overwhelming the listeners. Nihill may be one of the last bands that is actually capable of scaring people with its music.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.