Nothingness
Supraliminal

Intro, take 2. Let’s talk about some filthy, nasty, ass sweat-inducing death metal. Last year, I had several albums that could fit this description on my year-end list, with a few just short of it. I think the only band in the genre I did not see live last year was Tribal Gaze, but maybe this year.

Also, maybe Nothingness this year because of their new album, and second overall, Supraliminal fucking smokes. It’s a little different without being too outside of the box compared to their peers. They do so many things well on this that it’s hard to find fault.

Take for example the leading track, “Curse of Creation.” It starts out fast, but the difference between this album and many others in the same stanky sub-genre lately is that the production is a little cleaner, letting that chug and pinch harmonics sound perfect. You think you know how the vocals are going to sound and while you’re mostly correct, Barclay Olson mixes in some highs and employs a Corpsegrinder sort of howl. His variation is very clear in the first track.

That chug fest at the beginning of “Temple of Broken Swords” is probably going to be an instant pit starter, but not for me. I’ll kindly stand nodding my head as one of the elder statesmen in my local scene, not too far from the pit, but far enough to hopefully not get a karate kick to my ribs to make me think “this is how I go…” This track, at over 6 minutes, has some variety, though. It kicks into a short Mastodon adjacent groove around 4 minutes in, then has you giving the half stank face the rest of the track.

A couple of tracks later, “Inviolate Viscera,” which is one of the shorter ones here, starts with one of my favorite utterances a death metal vocalist can make, which is just a simple “ough.” It’s also quite diverse in its delivery as the part around a-minute-and-a-half in demonstrates with its funky, dare I say almost nu metal riff?

After a short track, of course, there is a long one (heh) with “Season of Loss.” It’s borderline death doom, and I think I’m underselling that “borderline” part. No sad boi forest walks to this, though. I prefer black metal for those anyway. That’s not the entire track, but it pops up a few times before it slows down significantly, you can hear the pick scrape across the strings, and I can just feel I’m about to get flattened, but wait… more Mastodon?

There are only 9 tracks on here for 43 minutes. Unlike my credit score, that’s almost perfect. The last one, “Decimate Mechanism,” is a perfect summary of this album in a way. It has those grooves 200 Stab Wounds have nearly perfected these days but has an identity as well that is pure Nothingness.

I’m so fucking into this that I’m using the bedpost for leverage. I have listened to it almost non-stop since I grabbed the promo and I just don’t know if that will cease. There is a lot of year left, but if there’s one takeaway from my ramblings, embrace Nothingness.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
February 1st, 2023

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