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Nidra : Epitaph Of Solitude (Split with K.M.)

A quality Dark Metal split in which Nidra provide the Doom.

Straight outta Russia, we have two bands, Nidra and K.M, each providing three original songs, as well as collaborating on a cover of Bethlehem's 'Gestern Starb Ich Schon Heute' (retitled 'Abyss'). The choice of song to cover gives a clue to the stylistic leanings of the bands involved, and indeed both bands have a footing in Dark Metal. Of the two, K.M. have the most straightforward take on the genre, with Nidra mixing in heavy amounts of Doom elements.

Nidra, who impressed with their full length debut 'Кома' back in 2013, start the proceedings. The two-piece, consisting of instrumentalist Cold and vocalist Rain, have a heavily atmospheric sound with a good variety of different elements that help to keep things interesting. Each of the three tracks has a different feel, with the first built around a tom/percussion beat and clean vocal lines that gives it a very different feel to most offerings from the genre. The other two tracks are a little more familiar, relying on sparse drumming and guitar playing layered over heavy layers of atmospheric keyboard sounds. I would probably pick the third track 'Thorns of Never Existed' as my personal favourite. Something about the way all the elements gel together... the sweeping pads, the samples, the heavily reverberant drum hits and the layered clean vocal harmonies really does it for me. Dark Doom Metal at its finest.

Before we get onto K.M.'s offerings we have the aforementioned Bethlehem cover collaboration. If you are reading this review there is a pretty good chance you are familiar with the original song, and this is a pretty straight cover. The production is possibly a fraction more polished than on the original record, but Bethlehem themselves had already added a fair degree of polish to their early raw sound by this point. I'd see this more as a loving tribute than any attempt at a fresh and original interpretation, but personally I hadn't heard this song for quite a while and it made me revisit the original album, which made it all worthwhile!

K.M. is a one man band by an individual known as Katharos. As mentioned they are a more traditional Dark Metal outfit, although there is a lot of piano in the sound to augment the reverb laden guitars/drums/growls. The songs are made up of the expected depressive melodic guitar lines, with sections as often defined by a change in drumbeat as a change of riff. I do find that the use of repetition is a little much, especially on first song 'Mutilated by the God', which could probably lose about five minutes of its eleven and a half and still retain all the content. The other two songs are much leaner and don't outstay their welcome, with closer 'Cognizing the Grief' managing to include all of K.M.'s strongest elements into a tight package that epitomises their sound. It's dark and it's metal, I'm miserable and I like it.

If you are a fan of any kind of dark music, you will probably enjoy at least one of the two bands on offer here, and you may well like both. For me, I probably enjoyed Nidra more as I found them to have a little more variety in sound and song writing, but I found both sides of the split to be great, and well worth checking out.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Nidra - Pathways of A Dream (Kali)
2. Nidra - Prisoner
3. Nidra – Thorns of Never Existed
4. Nidra & K.M. – Abyss (Bethlehem Cover)
5. K.M. – Mutilated by the God...
6. K.M. – Having Begun to Hate This World...
7. K.M. – Cognizing the Grief

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Nidra bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-09-29 by Kris Clayton
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