Released: 2013, HPGD Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
If you’ve been feeling like you don’t have enough Finish Ambient Black Metal in your life, well lucky day – have I got a treat in store for you. Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus (say that three times fast) is actually a Philadelphia based duo and the musical brainchild of Helsinki transplant Mika Mage. Rounded out by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist MWS, SYNKKÄ TULLI is the pair’s full length debut. Comparable to bands like Velvet Cacoon and Shadows in the Crypt, SYNKKÄ TULLI is a cold, bleak, minimalist delight.
What I found most endearing about SYNKKÄ TULLI is that there’s no posturing or attempts at spooky pretentiousness in the music. Much like Immortal, Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus use the barren loneliness of Mage’s snow covered homeland as creative fodder whilst using the grimness of black metal to leverage those ideas. Creating mood and mental imagery is really the endgame for the duo, and they’re largely successful here. Save for the occasional Burzum-esque synth interlude, Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus musically stick to the blueprints of traditional black metal, but as a collective body of work it’s pretty compelling stuff. In particular, the closing title track and “Anhedonia” are the strongest cuts on the album in both execution and production, and best communicate the band’s intentions.
If you like your metal black, bleak, stripped, and frozen from hypothermia, SYNKKÄ TULLI is an album you’ll want in your collection. The currency value on underground black metal bands is probably at the lowest it’s ever been right now, but I’m genuinely intrigued by what Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus are creating and curious to hear what comes next. SYNKKÄ TULLI is available now through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.