Sunday, June 10, 2018

Nigredo (review by MMB)

Flesh Torn - Spirit Pierced
April 15th, 2018
Transcending Obscurity Records
John Votsis, the Greek Freak of Drums—a veritable superstar of underground extreme metal drumming, with a résumé as impressive as the day is long, including some musically incestuous entities like Dephosphorus, Principality of Hell, Thou Art Lord and Ravencult, to name but a few from a list of current and former projects and bands involving him—has teamed up with Ravencult’s vocalist Alexis Papatheofanous for a black metal entity called Nigredo, a sound that is an execution of black thrash in the classic-minded ways.
The album provides fundamental points that keep it very coherent for the listener. You can understand right away that banging your head and metal of strength and conciseness is the order of the day. For these reasons, fans that are all in on the agenda of horns-raising, in-your-face extreme metal should be the primary focus audience. The album leaves very little doubt that the musicians themselves are knowledgeable fans of extreme metal, especially cult underground bands. In this case, classic thrash and black metal are, in my opinion, a great source of inspiration for the spirit of this work.
Alexis Papatheofanous shines on here. Besides the old-school extreme metal vocals for which he is known by the followers of his musical endeavors in the awesome Ravencult, Alexis takes care of the bass guitar on the album. So far, he is known for his vocals, a type of black metal bark that is appealing for its thrash and black metal tones; however, now we are finding out that there is another side to the man, and that’s his bass playing, assuming that the official information is factually accurate.
Even more interestingly, Alexis Papatheofanous, undoubtedly unbeknownst to many of the supporters of his work with Ravencult, plays guitar. The riffs are very concentrated and efficient, in the sense of compact, direct songs aimed straight at the thrash and black metal fanatics, and in general any metal zealot, looking to bang their heads on an album from start to finish. While Alexis apparently does not do guitar solos much, the riffs come out of the woodwork fast, sharp, strong and are very appealing in the styles of this genre.
Certain questions do remain. Is this simply a studio project or will Alexis and John recruit some friends to take this show on road? It appears that some shows may have taken place already, but if the quality of the music continues, then it should be interesting to see whether this cult will take to the streets of Europe and other places. Another question pending is, will there be guitar solos in the future?
Supporters of the Greek extreme metal bands may already know the mighty music of the cult of Thou Art Lord and memorable tunes of Ravencult, but now here is another name to investigate. This is the debut album, so Nigredo is just getting warmed up. Keep rocking this album and let’s wait and see what comes next. I’m looking forward to finding out.

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