Review Summary: frothing body horror
Nithing is a one man brutal death metal project from the drummer of Gorgasm and Iniquitous Deeds. Even if you know nothing about those bands, all that needs to be known about Nithing is that it blasts and blasts and blasts and blasts. Agonal Hymns
is ostensibly a collection of nine individual tracks that actually seamlessly meld into a single 23 minute Cronenberg monstrosity: dense, eviscerating arrangements twisted together like broken bodies are produced with sickening clarity so that the relentless whirr of kick pedals and scrape of guitar strings amalgamate into the carnage of dynamic riffs/bass, snapping snare and layered spew of breathless gurgles to create a sound so immediate it is almost violating. Despite the intensity, the album stops short of being messy; the writing is certainly violent and frenzied but has plenty of attention to detail (and good riffs) for a result that is memorable, at least traumatically.
The uncanny throbbing low end of Agonal Hymns
is frequently barbed with needle-like leads (or occasionally short solos), almost psychedelic in their heavy use of delay and dissonance, which keep the listener present kind of like that scene in Fight Club where Edward Norton is trying to dissociate from the pain of a disfiguring chemical burn on his hand but Brad Pitt won't let him block it out and reminds him the pain is right here it is RIGHT HERE focus on your pain. So too does Agonal Hymns
sadistically demand attention, even a minor reprieve like the short penultimate track "God: Emaciated" soon segues into the bludgeoning gut crusher of the closer to deny any internal happy place the listener might have momentarily ventured to.
Considering its place in the landscape of a genre all about maximalism, it must be reiterated that the short runtime is a huge strength of Agonal Hymns
: for everything that its flailing, splattering style lacks in subtlety, it conveys in a dense but surprisingly digestible and resultingly moreish steaming visceral heap.