Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Release Date: January 20th 2022
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Where to even begin with Nothingness‘ Supraliminal… and album that is just pure death metal madness from start to finish. Beware though this is a wild ride that can get a little suffocating and overstimulating at times. Not that we should expect anything less from an Everlasting Spew Records release.
Minneapolis five piece Nothingness play what would be best described as dissonant death metal but with elements of death grind and a focus on cavernous atmosphere. While the music is fast paced, furious and pummeling there is a lot of energy devoted to creating a suffocating, enveloping quality that permeates every element of the release. Don’t think that atmosphere means that you will get much respite though. This atmosphere merely elevates the ferocity that it accompanies, offering breaks in the wall of noise every so often to create moments of growing tension before the next burst of all out aggression.
I’ve seen some criticism of the album that it can be a little repetitive and I can definitely understand where that perspective comes from. However, for me this consistency and unrelenting assault approach are part of the album’s charm. It’s intended to be overwhelming and to feel as if its boxing you in. The fact that the music is fairly similar across each track helps to remove any sense of time and lose the ability to distinguish track from track. This instills a sense of dread in the listener, as if they can’t escape the ongoing onslaught. I may be reading more into things than are actually there, but this is very much the feeling that the album gives me and I’m all for it.
Every element on the album is performed expertly as is to be expected with a release of this nature. To me dissonant death metal is the evil twin of technical death metal, it should possess a similar level of technical proficiency. However rather than presenting this in clear, crisp and accessible way it chooses to use these gifts for evil, using technicality to overwhelm the listener and presenting it in a raw and punishing way.
The guitar work on the album is truly punishing and yet fairly varied thanks to the band’s dual guitar assault. You’ll find more technical, faster paced elements alongside crushingly heavy, slow, downtuned parts. The constant overlap of the two is a major contributor to the album’s abrasive nature. The drum work is unrelenting and has an almost dizzying effect on the listener throughout, bringing a whole new level of energy and force to the album. The bass work is thick, technical, and HEAVY and truly completes the album’s overall sound.
Lastly, we have the vocals which are impressively powerful and sit between being guttural and howled, giving them a raw edge. Along with these you’ll also find a rawer, more screeched style. The two balance each other out nicely and are mixed expertly with the instrumentals so while the vocals are clearly audible, they don’t drown out the instrumentals.
Overall, this is a solid offering of dissonant death metal that I think most fans of the genre will be able to appreciate. Just be prepared for the abuse that you will face when listening to this album in full and make sure you have the endurance to withstand it.
Listen to and order the album: