Released: 2013, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
From Austria comes the one man project of Philip Santoll entitled NonExistence; with his second full length album ANTARCTICA. Fusing elements of Symphonic Death & Black Metal along with slow atmospheric Doom Metal, NonExistence has created an album which Santoll has described as music to represent a journey through the varying elements of Antarctica, and the album certainly doesn’t disappoint in putting across a cold and epic sound of unforgiving atmospheric Black Metal.
Santoll himself has recommended the album to any fans of My Dying Bride and Dimmu Borgir which I myself would definitely have to agree with. The album sounds very similar in a number of places to Dimmu Borgir’s Enthrone Darkness Triumphant era material, but also mixes in elements of very cool atmospheric Doom Metal similar to that of My Dying Bride.
Despite the band technically only consisting of one member, you certainly wouldn’t have guessed when listening to the album as the amount of layers of brilliant melodies and intricate guitar and keyboard playing that is going on in the songs gives the whole album the feel of a full band line-up and a lot of different elements from each instrument coming into the mix. Very impressive stuff if it is solely the work of one person.
The production quality on the album is superb and every part of the music seems to be beautifully crisp and clear as well as all being at the right levels. The keyboards in particular on tracks such as Starless Aeons provide a beautifully haunting, sinister and bombastic backing to the low grumbling aggressive sound of the guitars.
Santali’s vocals are also very varied throughout the album from a mixture of low guttural death metal growls to high Shagrath like Black Metal screams. The songs themselves are all very nicely written as well to provide just the right mixture of fast aggressive raw Black Metal with fast blast beats and slow melodic Death/Doom sections as well which I think makes the album sound all the more atmospheric and dark.
I have no doubt that this is an album that you’ll want to listen to again and again. I am already on my 3rd listen through now and the songs just seem to sound better and better with each listen. If you want a great mixture of styles from bands such as Dimmu Borgir, My Dying Bride & Hypocrisy then I would highly recommend checking this album out as you definitely won’t be disappointed.
This should be a definite addition in the CD collections of fans of any of those bands as well as any fans of atmospheric/symphonic Black Metal. If you ever wanted to hear what Enthrone Darkness Triumphant part 2 sounds like then this is definitely it!
Review by Joffie Lovett