The Nihilistic Front - _Procession to Annihilation_
(Aesthetic Death, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (8.5 out of 10)
Nihilism: a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility. (Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

After listening to _Procession to Annihilation_, you'd think any reconstruction of humanity's endeavors, any rehabilitation of its morals and existential values, any reconciliation with its mephitic nature and fetid agendas, are all but futile -- and that's a huge, huge understatement.

The Nihilistic Front is more than a musical project; it's a statement; the embodiment of the end -- every and any end: ungraceful, unmerciful, non-romantic, charmless, brutal end. The end of everything.

It's the end of music as we know it, as this is where heaviness and hostility become the paramount goals, before they even materialize into being music but more a tool of destruction; thinking of a heavier, dirtier, more morose and harmful a sound than the one that's starring on _Process to Annihilation_ would be close to impossible.

It's the end of life, for this is the sonic equivalent to the hailing mushroom clouds, in plural form; its frequencies are so exquisitely descriptive in their crude artistic way by which they paint -- in an unrefined yet skillful methodology -- the painting of emptiness; not a mere void, but that which has befallen mankind following a great destruction, a relative vacuum, the 'before' versus the 'after' -- an aural articulation of an aftermath to a colossal catastrophe and the subsequent decimation of the populace.

Don't let the sluggish pace of the music fool you into believing this album has anything to do with doom metal. It may be painstakingly slow, yet it colors everything with the shadows of death; death as in 'demise' and death as in 'death metal'. Slowed-down metal can get this far dubbed as 'doom', across of which there remains only slow, plodding, devouring, pure death.

_Procession to Annihilation_ is death metal through and through; it's like a marriage from hell between Incantation's chaotic and suffocating Stygian soundscapes, Esoteric's enormous sound (after all, Greg Chandler had a major part in the album's recording) and Disembowelment's razor-sharp industrial edge; a canvas of dark shades, painted upon with coagulated blood smears and scraps of metal (pun intended!).

Yet in the grand scheme of things, The Nihilistic Front manage to construct an album that isn't a mere cacophonous torture, but rather the contrary: an orderly paradigm of writing music with song progressions that make sense and while they do, a melody emerges. It might be primitive and basic, but there is a discernible melody here one gets accustomed to pretty rapidly, after which a sense of comfort descends upon the listener, like the feeling of arriving home, sweet home.

_Procession to Annihilation_ sounds like an old, old-school effort with some futuristic aspirations and some scattered surprising twists. Albeit familiar in its overall aesthetics attributed to death metal's bread-and-butter techniques (monstrous growls, tight yet unspectacular drumming, double-bass pedal blasts, bass-heavy low-end basic riffs and tremolo drones), the music in itself has an appealing edge to it, in its megalithic resonance that drowns everything while listening to it, making the world disappear if only for the music's span of time; an all-encompassing, holistic tidal wave that forces the listener into its black heart, where scenes of the imminent apocalypse are ruthlessly projected on a silver screen; all one has to do is bring the popcorn, sit back (un)comfortably, watch and await the world's doom.

Fans of Zaraza, early Godflesh and/or those who dig Mortician or the above mentioned bands are more than encouraged to listen to _Procession to Annihilation_. This is where music becomes an engine of punishment, while hanging on the thread are the very fundamentals of music itself.


(article published 24/3/2014)

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