ALBUM REVIEW: Supraliminal – Nothingness

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Today’s word of the day is Supraliminal. It means ‘existing above the threshold of consciousness’, and is the chosen title for the sophomore full-length from Minneapolis death metallers NOTHINGNESS. Admittedly, the link between the actual definition of the term and the music this album has to offer isn’t all that clear, aside perhaps from the fact that both require a fair bit of work to get your head around.

That’s not a diss though; Supraliminal is a mind-bending crusher of a record that sets a very promising precedent for death metal in 2023. There’s scarcely a moment’s respite across the entirety of its 43-minute runtime, and yet within that the band draw from a wide enough range of genres and styles to ensure that the album keeps heads spinning and gazes held from start to finish. It’s like someone’s spilled a full tin of sludge over an initial canvas of death metal, and then proceeded to fleck the resulting mess with splashes of prog, doom and black metal for an end product that’s every bit as chaotic, vibrant and mesmeric as the album’s striking artwork.

Bringing an essential degree of consistency to all this is the record’s fantastic production. With the band joined behind the desk by Adam Tucker (THOU, PHOBOPHILIC), they’ve cooked up a thick and suffocating sound that makes the experience of listening to this album feel a bit like someone is gradually piling bricks upon your chest. Nothing is more responsible for this than Alex Walstad’s gigantic guitar tone, this pulling a seemingly unending procession of crushing riffs and dissonant leads through mile after mile of muck and mire. The drum sound is a little more polished – as indeed you would hope – with Jason Hirt’s blasts, grooves and powerful double kick work giving Supraliminal the weighty anchor it very much needs.

Even with its myriad influences at play, there wouldn’t be much merit in focusing too much on individual tracks here. Whether it’s the blackened flurries which whistle through tracks like Catapulted Into Hyperspace and Temple Of Broken Swords, the epic doom by way of mid-period GOJIRA feel of the album’s longest offering Beacon Of Loss, or just the obscene grooves housed in eighth track The Anvil, everything contributes to a singular and devastating whole. Admittedly this does mean that it might wash past its listeners a little on the first few goes, and perhaps a touch more dynamic variation could remedy this, but even then Supraliminal does reveal enough of itself on early listens to guarantee a swift return from anyone who likes having their brain mushed.

Last week the legendary OBITUARY came back with a pretty great record, and we’ve already got CATTLE DECAPITATION and who knows what else to look forward to in the year ahead, but if Supraliminal is anything to go by it’s the new blood that we should be paying the most attention to for death metal in 2023. On only their second go, NOTHINGNESS have nailed a formula that feels unique to them, and in doing so they’ve guaranteed themselves a place on the increasingly long and impressive list of bands who are making the genre feel genuinely exciting and dangerous again.

Rating: 8/10

Supraliminal - Nothingness

Supraliminal is set for release on January 20th via Everlasting Spew Records.

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The post ALBUM REVIEW: Supraliminal – Nothingness appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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