Nightbringer
Apocalypse Sun

I can’t really explain why it’s taken me so long to review one of 2010’s most impressive and disturbing black metal albums. I listen to it regularly, mentally gushing over it, and writing the review in my head each time I listen. I actually wonder if some dark occult force is preventing me from putting my thoughts to paper. A malignant omnipresence being, draining my will, and preventing me from warning the world about the album’s nefarious tones…

So here I sit, late at night, in my dark basement, listening to this Colorado band’s second full length album ― every tap on the glass, wisp of wind and creak of floorboard bringing me closer to insanity and despair. As the words fill the screen and the throes of malice tighten around my throat, Nightbringer’s piercing, discordant blackened mysticism feeds the blackness that’s engulfing me…must finish review…

While much of the modern US black metal movement seems content to be more laid back, ambient experimental and avant-garde, Nightbringer take a page from fellow US black metalers Averse Sefira with a more brittle, chaotic and menacing approach that’s fitting of sun destroying rituals by way of hypnotically violent riffs, backwards, transcendental structures and a dark, occult theme.

Running for almost 70-minutes and comprising of mostly lengthy songs, Apocalypse Sun, isn’t about songs or specific riffs, but a complete event of dense, churning, dissonance that plays blends together and sounds like 3-4 different albums spinning at once. From opener “I Am I”, through “Supplication Before the Throne of Tehom” and slow burns that litter the 9-minute “Serpent of the Midnight Sun”, shrill, sickly crawl of “Excitium: Litany of the Devouring Earth” to lurching 10-minute closer “Fount of the Nighted God-Head”, the album, twists and slices with an organized chaos and vitriolic sneer. Occasional moments of malevolent ambience interject here and there within the songs (chants, synths, creepy acoustics), but for the most part the album careens and spirals with dizzying menace and caustic, evil complexity (i.e “Goblet of Sulphur and Poison”, “Nephal-The Seat of Pan-Daimonium”).

Alas, the shadows are closing in on me, I don’t have much time left…I can smell the sulphur and feel the tendrils of nausea creep up my spine, delivering unspeakable evil to my already weakened mind…I can only finish with this last note….and hope to hold the dark spirits at bay with unabashed worship…

Apocalypse Sun is certainly as good as Krallice’s debut and definitely a nice stop gap until the new Deathspell Omega erupts from the bowls of hell. It also has to rank as one of the more important and impressive USBM releases of the last few years that isn’t rooted in hipsters, hippies or hemp.

…take me now….

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 16th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    Awesome review there Erik.


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    sounds great!


  3. Commented by: Brandon Duncan

    Love, love love this cd.


  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    one of your better reviews in awhile man. gonna have to go back to this one again.


  5. Commented by: xbenx

    Had this for ages! Now I need to listen to it!!!!!!!


  6. Commented by: vugelnox

    I saw these cats headline a set over Krieg and Profanatica a few weeks ago. I will concede that the sound in the venue wasn’t the best but even so they were excruciatingly dull to watch. After 30 or so minutes I couldn’t take anymore what with my eyes beginning to glaze over so we split early. I’ll still give this album a listen as black metal has a nagging tendency to carry over poorly to the live arena but understandably my expectations are very low.


  7. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this is awesome.


  8. Commented by: GDubya

    I can understand about why you put it off. You like it a lot and grow close to it. Doing it justice is a big deal. And it should be. In fact, every reviewer should have the same thoughtfulness.
    Knowing that much of the music that stays with me is stuff that was difficult and individual. It took a while. Sometimes i hated it at first, but it won me and endured.
    And then there is the fact that there are many starving musicians trying to create and living on the edge just to release an EP or full length, these folks deserve multiple listens and thought.
    Thanks for a great review. Nightbringer was on my top 30 for the year and deserves a good look.


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