/​/​180703​/​/ by Demersus Ad Nihilum

Release date: June 25, 2021
Label: Art of Propaganda Records

It’s always great to see a new band emerge and make waves within the black metal community and what’s better is one that has so much more to offer than simply being just a side-project. Rising post pandemic furore towards the end of 2020 is Demersus ad Nihilum, the melodic black metal/post-black solo project of Theotoxin and Agrypnie drummer Florian Musil, who provides all instruments here.

Debut EP //180703// is a harsh, yet moving journey through the spellbinding catharsis of melodic post-black metal with lyrical inspiration from Austrian poetry. Current Theotoxin vocalist Ragnar lends his rabid snarls to the project, lifting Musil’s instrumentation and adding a pained connection to the mix.

The fiery ‘Hin auf dornigen Wegen’ opens the EP with storming blasts that melt into a melodic march through traditional folky black metal. Post-black elements break through with little highlights of glimmering nuance and familiar dissonant guitar work, giving the pensive intro track a hopeful lustre rising from its black exterior. The acoustic-driven ‘Verwünschung’ flickers from gently plucked beauty with heart-warming passages to more guttural hits of pained, cathartic purging through hard-hitting drum patterns, abrasive guitar melodies and strained vocals. ‘Abschied’ ends the short and sweet EP on a melancholic note, contrasting dramatic, blastbeating sections with infectious tremolos and reflective, moody strings that converse with all other instruments.

There are touches of post-black beauty interwoven between the traditional, speedy raw metal and cold grimness, but this is still far removed from the more straight-up harshness of Theotoxin. This is a significantly different project and one that’s struck a meaningful chord with me. The three tracks on offer here ride the darkness of misery with a meditative calmness, injecting sincere and stunning beauty into the blackest of sound and emotion.

I went in not fully knowing what to expect but familiar with Musil’s talent. //180703// is as black as it is beautiful and wraps up with a clear appreciation of melodic black metal and the cathartic shine of post-black. It’s a strikingly moving and vividly multi-faceted piece of music that proves to be a great appetiser for the upcoming full-length currently in preparation.

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