An acronym for “Nihilism Is Liberation” (with which I would have to somewhat agree…), N.I.L.’s sophomore effort is a three-song EP with the song titles simply named “I”, “II”, and “III’. This could easily be dismissed as pretentious by many, or an attempt at ultra-nihilist minimalism by someone like myself. As if there isn’t a plague of pretension in many black metal acts as is?

In terms of stylistics, N.I.L. stirs together tight and crystal-clear blackness with random doses of bass-heavy and crushing doom to have all three tracks culminate in a rather-lengthy yet utterly satisfying 20-minute span. The brainchild of N. Imperial of mainly (meaning he has innumerable side projects) Krieg fame and J. Marcheski who teamed-up with Imperial on the super-short lived and nearly forgotten March Into The Sea project a handful of years back, N.I.L.’s sound is thick and eclectic and wallops you over the head like a ton of bricks. This is a rather “New Wave” of American black metal that creates a signature sound of it own without the rampant plagiarism the scene suffered early on. My, what a long way we have come!

Since their self-titled first release in 2007, I have been eagerly anticipating the next diatribe from this duo, and lo, my dark prayers were finally, eventually, answered. Most anything N. Imperial touches happens to turn to gold, the result of a genius, disturbed, and persevering mind. The man sure knows how to write and also how to dole out some serious disdain and hurt upon all of mankind. It would be something nice if the span of time between releases was not nearly as long! (FA)