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0Xist : Nil

What sets 0 X I S T apart from the myriad of other Celtic Frost clones is the way they manage to bring the cold atmosphere to the forefront.

You could think about it for a whole week and still be unable to name every band that has been influenced by Celtic Frost over the years. Yet, we only find very few bands influenced by Tryptikon, the latest incarnation of the Swiss legends – which is somewhat curious, considering that Tryptikon‘s soundscape is more Doom-oriented than most of what Celtic Frost have ever released (‘Monotheist’ excluded, of course). But what would happen if a band decided to take the same path as Tryptikon, but in a more doomed way? I’m pretty sure that the result would be something along the lines of this first album by 0 X I S T.

The Finnish band is far from being an unknown entity, at least for those who like their Doom Death the Finnish way, since the musicians also play in Saattue. However, the music of 0 X I S T is very different, wandering the tormented territories we know from Bethlehem in their early days, and of course from Tryptikon. ‘Nil’ is an album where music is strictly kept at a mid-tempo pace, with some Black Metal riffs, acoustic interludes and an aggressive, dominating voice. Listening to this album isn’t unlike taking a trip in the forest during the late days of November, the air filled with a heavy smell of moisture and rotten wood; the atmospheres are autumnal, invoking cold rains and fierce hailstorms.

What sets 0 X I S T apart from the myriad of other Celtic Frost clones is the way they manage to bring that cold atmosphere to the forefront: despite it being strictly based on the rhythm section (some solos do occur, but they are more of a further development of the rhythm guitar riffs rather than real independent solos), the music of 0 X I ST is far from being simplistic. In some ways, you could compare it to what some Drone bands manage to do: Creating an entirely new sonic effect by drawing out the riffs. But 0 X I S T are not Sunn O))); each song remains quite easy to grasp, using simple melodies as the backbone of something greater. This approach reaches its pinnacle in the magnificent, yet so simple ‘Of Wood, Stone and Bone’, a song that in itself epitomises the whole definition of what 0 X I S T‘s music is all about.

Over the years, the term ‘Dark Metal’ has been used, overused and misused too many times for me to count or give examples. But this is the first time that I hear music which truly matches the label. Using an old, well-defined style as a basis to create a very personal sound is a rare ability that only the greatest bands have. With ‘Nil’, 0 X I S T show us that they have what it takes to become a future point of reference in the genre.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Old World Vanished
2. Nil
3. Cold Dark Matter
4. Arrival
5. Anemone Patens MCCXLIX
6. Of Wood, Stone and Bone
7. Shrivel

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the 0Xist bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-02-11 by Laurent Lignon
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