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Originally birthed as a one-man project, Massachusetts prog-metallers Vantablack’s debut EP The Nihilist is an utter riff-fest, mixing midtempo old school death metal chug and some insanely dense progressive arrangements. Dying Fetus “chunk parts” and sputtery stop-start polyrhythms abound here, but it does a great job of avoiding the problems that usually plague modern bands that adopt the “progressive/technical” moniker. The usual sterile, blown out, all-guitars mix of the typical tech death band is mercifully nowhere to be found here; Vantablack owes more to 90’s death metal on this one, but with a sound like this could just as easily transition into being a full-blown sludge band. Though they’re probably equally as technical as any given bedroom band with a science-fiction album cover at the moment, the tempos are mostly pretty reigned in, which gives the riffs (of which there’s a TON) more space to breathe and escape the usual tech death wind tunnel of being interesting for the sheer blur of it, but completely unmemorable otherwise.
This is just heavy, heavy, heavy, and absolutely deserving of your time. Stream The Nihilist below on Spotify, and you can set your own price on Bandcamp.