Released: 2011, Haliaetum Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Black metal knows now boundaries, not even Europe’s eastern bloc. Enter Slovenia’s Nephrolith and their debut XULLUX. The band’s website details some insight about katharsis, spiritual departure, and other evil eccentricities, but all you really need to know is that XULLUX is good stuff.
The band takes traditional black metal sensibilities and beefs up the riff structure and production, so the music still sounds kVlt without sounding like it was recorded in somebody’s mom’s basement. Listening to XULLUX, I was reminded a lot of old Satyricon (back when they were still a band to be afraid of), which is to say, a good thing. Though there’s not many new ideas circulating in black metal these days, the band holds their own with more unique tunes like the two part “Abandoned Essence,” the bleak harmonies of “Nocturnal Perception” and “Putrefaction” and the straight up ripping title track. The songs are well structured and the production lends them some extra bite that’s often missing from other bands in the genre.
There’s certainly no shortage of new black metal vying for your attention, but Nephrolith is one that’s actually worthy of parting with your hard earned cash for. The tunes on XULLUX are well thought out and go beyond just playing really, really, really fast and screaming into a mic with lots of echo. Albums like this renew my hope for the genre, so check out the band’s website and see for yourself.