That moment when an album completely floors you in under two minutes – that’s the new Adversarial. Riffy, hammering, and decidedly dark, what more could one expect from an album titled Death, Endless Nothing, and The Black Knife of Nihilism? Even people who aren’t into this kind of music have told me what a sick fucking title that is and luckily for those of us who are into this kind of music, the material found therein meets expectations and then some.
As impressive as Adversarial have been on their past few releases, what they’ve achieved here is without a doubt their masterpiece. The 9 hymns that make up this record are sure to devastate all who lend their ears as “Dissenting the Waking Shell” kicks the album off and strikes quick with dissonant riff destruction and pummelling drums that twist and seamlessly waft through their progressions with the precision of a surgeon. Not to be left out, however, are the crushing gutturals that accompany this buffet of caustic Discordia. Like injecting steroids into an already immeasurably volatile beast, the vocals that spew forth are, at times, as if emitted from the three-headed hellhound Cerberus of Greek myth; bringing forth a cascade of demonic fury that simply puts the final product over the top.
Label:Dark Descent Records
As the opener rumbles to an end and the album forges ahead with the creepy “Intro” track that brings about the mental image of a damned soul crossing the river Styx to the underworld, as one has but just a few minutes to contemplate the bleak eternity that awaits them before “Immersion Void Paragon” introduces you to your fate with bloody vengeance. Striking with a volley of peaks and valleys, Adversarial ultimately eradicate with a hellish break at the 2:46 mark that sends you plummeting and that ravels out nicely toward its conclusion with foreboding, tempered dissonance and pinch harmonics after the hellish roller coaster ride of riffs.
“Eonik Spiritual Warfare” brings more death metal fury and riff-packed action, as it features some of the most riveting, complex songwriting on the album. Rather impressively, it flows from one tempo change to the next, from one great riff or lead to another almost effortlessly, to create a tightly wound beast of destruction that is as dynamic as it is punishing, as it even features a well-placed, darting flash of melodic brilliance at the 2:20 mark that is frankly as catchy as Adversarial has ever sounded.
In fact, one of the most notable things about this band and this album in particular is how complex the style that’s employed actually is. Much like a super-charged, modern interpretation of Immolation, repeated listens uncover a host of subtle, dissonant riff manipulations and a layered immensity of clashing chord rhythms tightly banded with diverse percussion that’s hard to catch and absorb upon initial impact. It’s only when you’ve completely immersed yourself in the murk that you begin to fully grasp all that lies just under the surface.
And it’s with the “Interlude” track that we reach the midway point of the album, which features the sounds of flames and burning embers, and some famous words from George Orwell on the dystopian nightmare in the making that is life on earth, saying in particular, that, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” It’s these chilling words that transition you to the final furious portion of this monolithic album, as “Cursed Blades Cast Upon The Slavescum of Christ” absolutely annihilates the brain-dead masses of organized religion with flurry after flurry of blasts beats, twisting, corrosive riffs, and vocals that sound particularly scathing, tinged with a flesh-flaying rasp indicative of the blades referenced in the song’s title. By the time, you hit the massive climax of this track – rest assured, your jaw will be firmly planted on the floor, if not stomped into bits.
After perhaps the most crushing song on Death, Endless Nothing…, “Old Ruins Slumber in a Crushing Hatred of Man” is much more brooding and contemplative, opening at a crawl with eerie, resounding chords and a song structure that is overall fairly meditative and ambient in nature in comparison to the mayhem that precedes it. But like a black cauldron over an open fire, what lies within is bubbling and will eventually boil over, and in the case of Adversarial, it’s their outspoken hatred and disgust for Man that reaches a boiling point when “Long Wresting Hymns to the Warmoon of Chaos” erupts with some of the best riffage on the album.
Riddled with drum fills and swift tempo changes, this song hammers forth the gospel of Chaos in all its resplendent glory, with nearly 6 minutes of jam-packed action. Not a second is wasted here, not an ounce of its composition is what I would call “Filler”; no, “Long Wresting…” fucking brings it from start to finish with an array of vibrant, catchy twists and turns that seems to go by in a flash despite being the longest song on the album.
So, before you know it, you’ve almost reached the bitter, black end that is Death, Endless Nothing, And the Black Knife of Nihilism, when its title track kicks into gear with an opening explosion of abominable vocals and the most claustrophobic, high octane fuelled songwriting on the album as one senses that every last fiber of their being is being absolved by the dissonant, purging fires of Adversarial. The most no-nonsense, brutal, blunt offensive on the album, I can promise you the title track will reduce whatever’s left of your insignificant self to ashes. Wonderfully murderous, terrifying, and all too bleak in nature, Adversarial have outdone themselves on their sophomore effort, so don’t delay: buy a copy and be prepared have all meaningful existential signposts severed by the black knife of Nihilism.