Nullingroots – Into the Grey (Prosthetic)Thursday, 9th November 2017
Last year we investigated Nullingroots’ previous effort, Take Care, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise within the blackgaze front. It seems we weren’t the only ones to take notice of the promising, then one-man act, who has now signed with Prosthetic Records. Into the Grey is the first full-band output for Nullingroots, and continues in the footsteps of its predecessor while keeping an eye to the future.
In line with Take Care, Into the Grey impresses with the knowledge of blackgaze, and adding more diverse elements to it. No one’s going to argue about said classification, but Nullingroots maintain more of a unique space due to their implementation of some ripping brutality from time to time. There’s moments of more death metal-esque heaviness and brutality (see “Aqua”) amid the more sorrowful and depressive tone of the melodies. The title track features some galloping thrash riffing as well – they don’t limit themselves to convention and it plays into their sound wonderfully. Even the more blackened elements don’t become neutered like some post-black metal acts do, and the blastbeats and frantic guitars are a welcome inclusion when they are brought in. That said, they can still pull off some gorgeous arrangements on the more mellow end, such as “Rust,” where doom pacing meets blackened tones and later post-metal atmosphere. The time-lengths have seen an uptick since the last effort (4 of the 5 tracks reach into double-digits), but one would never notice it while listening. Due to the varied dynamics and contrast between beauty and chaos, the tracks never have a dip in quality.
The full-band approach gives Nullingroots some added dynamic, and it helps to make their music soar a little higher on Into the Grey. They never rely upon one particular genre as a crutch, instead blending as many elements as the song calls for. Never including things just for the sake of it, but giving the songs an urgent and genuine tone. Moving, heavy, and full of contrast.