The Pounding Depravity of NEST’s s/t LP Review + Full Stream
Corpse paint might be fading from the new crop of black metal bands. With black metal’s inverted cross-pollination taking hold with in the metal genre, the attitude and philosophy many black metal artists claim to be as important as the music is not where the influence is taking hold. So then, what makes something blackened? Let’s take Nest for example – there is nothing satanic about them. There is no tremolo picked guitar, and the blast beating is far and few between. The closest connection you might draw to in order to throw the blackened sludge doom tag on them is the dark ugliness and the dissonance it carries. The album opens with a sludged out groove which hesitates as if waiting for the gurgled vocals to catch up with it. It might not be what you would expect to hear coming out of Lexington, Kentucky. Nest likes fucking with you sonically and refuses to fit their sound neatly into the confines of today’s metal. So much so that the first song almost feels like an intro fake out, but they congeal into a denser and more focused rumble on “Wretched Earth.” The rambling madmen in the sample running through the song serves as more of a lyricist than the vocals that are spewed out in vomited spurts.
“The Earth is a Nest” carries some of the moments which come the closest to blackness, as the song seems to purposefully throw itself down the stairs to fall apart. The band pounds into a more plodding and punishing doom on “the Womb is Barren in a Feral Light,” until it feels very abortive rather than allowing the song to fully develop. To their credit, they do not waste any time lulling you in with extended atmosphere or any drone. This cuts their songs down to solid three and a half minute assaults that they shove at you, full of jagged little pieces to cut your ears with. The bits of doom they do touch on here are effective and make me want to hear what it would sound like it they took those riffs and ran with them. The album ends with clean guitar, leading up into another dirty pounding that knocks the paint of the walls. As raw and filthy as a graveyard gang bang, but is not content to wallow in the grave, instead it pounds and roars as it staggers along. This would fall into the realm of what Darkthrone was doing during their crossover into the whole punk-influenced black ‘n roll phase. These guys are heading in the right direction down the left-hand path, and at the end of the day sludge prevails on this album. Nest brings just enough darkness for at least the marginal fans of black metal who only listen to the first four Darkthrone albums on vinyl. However, if you are into crusty sludge prone to spastic outbursts of heaviness, this is also worth your time.