NAVALM "Nothingness"

Fast crunching death metal with a touch of industrial to it. The music sucks you in and the singer I love his voice as he sings with a ton of feeling and hate and his voice just fits this music perfectly. Big time crunch of the guitar and a bottom end heavy production also work wonders on this and the intensity I also liked. This is not for the faint of the heart. Think Ministry meeting death metal in an alley and out this pops.

NAVALM "Nothingness"

Navalm has to be the busiest Death Metal band hailing from Ukraine. Nothingness is their fourth full length album since 2013. This is also the first album to feature second guitarist Alexander Timofeev who produced this record. According to the promo text he got in touch with Dan Swanö to ask for some advice regarding the sound engineering. Not knowing the band before I checked out there previous album Tyranny. In direct comparison that one seemed to be a bit more technical and melodic. I got the feeling that Navalm turned to a bit more Old School sound on Nothingness which is also highlighted by the thick and heavy production job. The bass is rumbling along and the guitars are down-tuned without using the HM2 pedal leading to an overall sound sitting somewhere between the European (Scandinavian/UK) and the US school. One thing that seems to be very important to Navalm is atmosphere. Most of the tracks are held in mid-tempo with a lot of slower sections. While there is no keyboard player listed the band uses a range of samples to create a moody and dark soundscape. In combination with the often slightly melancholic lead guitar work the listener gets drawn into this dark and sometimes sad atmosphere. However, this does not mean we are talking about Atmospheric or Symphonic Death Metal here. The main focus on Nothingness is playing Old School Death Metal with great riffing, pummeling drums and some nice soloing. Most songs have a traditional verse-chorus structure but the band is not afraid to leave the well-known path weaving in some longer parts varying the tempo and applying some rhythm changes. The songwriting is on spot showing that experienced musicians are at work. The growling of Antanas Butvila is very deep. He has a great tone but the lyrics are not always easy to understand. This might also be owed to the thick wall of sound leaving the vocals slightly buried in the total mix. This is just a minor complaint and I still dig the overall sound of this record which is fitting perfectly to the crawling and evil music. Rounded off by a traditional cover art-work fans of OSDM should take notice.

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