Taking nihilism and death metal to a completely new level is Spain’s Altarage. Bubbling up from the cavernous depths with them is their debut album Nihl. With this release Altarage re-write the scriptures on nihilism and completely succumb you to something that is all together more sinister than anything you have heard before. Nihl is a dark and twisting mass of wholly chaotic and sordid death metal. There are no breaks here as Altarage hits you with everything that they can to bring you to your knees and beg for a swift death.
Nihl is soul consuming and pushes all light out of the room. There is no need for multiple listens to get the message that Altarage is trying to convey with this album as the message is one of pure blasphemy and chaos. Multiple listens are warranted however, because you get sucked into a vortex of pure blistering and deafening death metal, but the message is clear. Altarage is here for one reason, and that reason is to snuff all life from the face of the earth.
There isn’t anything that you can do to stop this rolling ball of hate. It crushes you with ease and makes you feel incredibly small. Once Nihl begins you know that your days are numbered and you know that the reaper is coming for you and your death won’t be quick and painless. Nihl is an all together skin blistering and life threatening release, and through eight songs you can feel the pure spiteful wrath of these heathens.
Through the length of this release, there is a pure and raw energy that runs through it that cannot be explained. Of course this album is nihilistic, raw, chaotic and many more describers, but there is something about it that just cannot be pin pointed. It is a feeling that you get while listening that is gruesome and purely evil. As you listen you can feel it coursing through your veins and taking control of your morality and your humanity.
The feeling is uncanny and inescapable. You end up succumbing to the sheer mighty weight of this expertly crafted demonic album. From the very beginning of the album there isn’t anything that you can do but witness the sheer power that Altarage brings upon you. Nihl is a behemoth of an album and it throws you around the room like a fucking rag doll more often than not.
From the drop of the first note you get accosted by carcass eviscerating riffs, ever pounding and organ rupturing drums, heavy bass lines, and dissonant vocals that sound as though they came straight from the netherworld. The incredibly sinister musicianship creates an atmosphere that collapses your lungs and stops your heart from beating. Shrouding you in doubt and dismal depression is a thick fog that doesn’t leave your side until the ending of the record.
At certain times Nihl is brooding and dismal and at others it is pumped with blackened energy and enough hate to level an entire city, but all of the time it is purely hateful and abyssal. This is the type of release that makes you doubt your own existence and makes your soul melt and your world crumble. If you feel as though you can withstand the hell fire, talk a walk into Nihl.