0XiST     

Nil

Ostra Records 2012

Finnish doom lords 0XiST (zero exist) storm the underground with the thunderous riffs and lumbering, but clean sound which brings to mind a doomier Monotheist era Celtic Frost.  From the opening shards of guitar on Old World Vanished you hear the very precise and gloomy riffs unfurling themselves over your ear.  The riffs plod on in a forlorn manner as somber leads cross above them like sorrowful angels.  The song breaks into clean guitar minimalism and graven, deathly vocals.  From this opening track you can discern a cold, hard sound and style from these despondent Finns.  Faster, more imposing riffs and a decidedly angrier overall overtakes the title-track.  Rolling, churning guitars collapse into thick strings that echo with a forgotten mysticism.  Strange whispers and weary, layered vocals set the stage for melancholic melodies and beefy, crushing riffs as the track marches onward.  Cold Dark Matter drifts back into a slower, more deliberate pace that crawls along.  The riffs rise up and then slouch backwards as near melodies caress the stony texture of composition.  A hidden, eastern-infused guitar line dances slowly with monolithic riffs and then is usurped by a beautiful trembling guitar as Anemone Patens MCCXLIX opens.  The determined, unfeeling riffs return and they unravel once again with emotional fingerwork that ache with a sliver of Katatonia's depression.  Crystalline guitar, fraught with icy beauty, twinkles in the blackness as the final track flows out of the speakers.  Shrivel, with its Pink Floydian minimalism and whispered vocals conjures comparisons to Wildhoney era Tiamat until it is smothered by titan riffs and deathly vocals.  The song moves ominously towards exhaustion, as if the music was fatigued by a life of constant tragedy.  0XiST's debut album takes a healthy nod to Celtic Frost, adds shades of Katatonia and then weathers them against a world that is colder and bleaker than either of those two.  Nil is an album that world weary, jaded and beaten by a life of struggle and burden, yet the riffs still maintain a resolute concreteness to them, they are unbending.