12 O'Clock Track: Nihill, "Spiral: The Tail Eater"

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Today's 12 O'Clock Track is "Spiral: The Tail Eater," by Dutch band Nihill, who play an apocalyptically noisy but strangely serene hybrid of doom and black metal. I've decided to turn the precedent I set with my Antediluvian post into a pattern of sorts, because nothing says "sunny summer day" like the most inhuman-sounding music I can find, right?

While Antediluvian is a frenzied, shapeless horror, Nihill is cold and forbidding, almost stately—the measured, deliberate throb that drives "Spiral" doesn't waver for eight and a half minutes. What does change are the guitars: they accumulate in layers, each one more dissonant and tortured than the last, as though the song is slowly filling from the inside out with a critical charge of malevolent, alien energy. The whole thing feels like a gnostic ritual meant to unlock the kind of secrets that ended up buried for a very good reason.

"Spiral: The Tail Eater" is a promo track from the forthcoming album Verdonkermaan, which comes out via Hydra Head on August 21. It's the final installment of a trilogy that began with Krach (2007) and continued with Grond (2009). All editions of Verdonkermaan are available for preorder, but the CD and vinyl are nearly sold out.

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