I always get excited by debut albums! It’s the thrill of the unknown, it’s that moment when you play the first few cords and get an instant connection to both the atmosphere and the passion of what you’re bearing witness to. Now, add a stunning visual display to one of the tracks and just feel yourself getting lost in the throes of all that greatness and grandeur that is opening before your eyes.
Swiss band Ad Nihilum’s unsullied blend of doom, black and atmospheric metal gave me those aforementioned feels when I first hear their pre-released singe, Withering Beauty, from the upcoming album An Escape For The Guilty. Right from the outset, a blizzard of harsh frosty blast beats, tangled up in turbulent, torn riffs, lay siege with great power and wrath. Fast, furious, and set beneath a synthesised skyline, the music cuts right through the harsh, open landscape, before easing and receding into some deeply melancholic dual guitaring and some soft, cold vocals. Funereal in tempo, the track is laced in a brooding air of melancholia that brings with it some heavy, guttural growls and even more majestic musical layers. Never standing still and never repeating itself, this journey changes direction once more and comes spewing forth with some crushing riffs and an ethereal wall of sound that finally ignites and cascades into a post-black onslaught that tears the sky wide open and spits fire and venom across the vast open wilderness!
This track is certainly a statement of intent and under the guidance of These Hands Melt, Ad Nihilum are a force to be reckoned with. While you wait for the album to drop on February 2024, be sure to head to your youtube page and bask in the glorious video that adorns the track, courtesy of the brilliant Anaïs Chareyre-Méjan ( Domhain)