Nullingroots returns with their 4th studio album “Into the Grey” and it’s blackened post-metal done right. Somber and depressive riffs cloud my mind as percussive bliss shatters my thoughts, all while the vocals scream such beautiful nothings loudly and unforgivably. I’ve been slow to listen to much black metal this year, let alone post-rock musings, so hearing this combination of music together and done right was easily something I could enjoy and get down with. Nullingroots gives us only 5 songs on this album but the longer tracks grabs a hold of me and never lets me go.
After hearing the terrible album that Ghost Bath released this year, it was nice to hear what Nullingroots could properly do with the genre. Pushing me straight into “Subsistence”, this track had it’s moments of dim riffs and moody atmospheres but there were quite a kick in the pants when it came to high energy riffing and screams. This pattern is also present in the next track: “The Morning That Killed The World”, as the dim meets the bright in terms of musical differences found in one song. The transition of tempo and momentum just before the 5 minute mark was pretty bad ass. “Rust” comes in mean and aggressive with low power chords and slower doom tempos. The speeds and angst turn up over the play through of the track, as guitar work and drum tempo and changes happen in a stylish manner to keep things interesting. It’s genuinely a really great song to listen to. There is a lot going on here but Nullingroots doesn’t fall too far from what they want to achieve and stay within the bounds of their genre, be it extending to the far edge as far as they can.
Furthering their depressive ways they drift into the song “Aqua”, which has a melancholic beginning, before the storm of blackened riffs drive in. Yet, the tone and notes used still provide a sad tale just from the music itself. The shift in music quickly moves to anger, as the growls are wildly death metal as the music progresses. However, the band gets back to pure depression later on in the song. This roller-coaster ride of emotions is too much at times. “Into the Grey” is no different as this song goes from hectic to sad several times within the song. The heavy aspects of the song are truly great and the clean and emotional parts really grab onto me. Damn this album is beautiful.
Musically, I appreciate the hard work this band has put together for our entertainment. The heaviness as well as the emotive sections of music are astonishingly brilliant. I guarantee that Nullingroots will fly under your radar but if you can, avoid that mistake and listen to this album immediately upon release. THIS is how post-black or shoegaze should sound. It should be interesting, emotional and beautiful. Into the Grey is a wonderful listen and I highly recommend it to you.
Release Date: November 17th, 2017
Label: Prosthetic Records
FFO: Deafheaven, An Autumn For Crippled Children & Violet Cold