In recent years there has been a boom within the Black Metal scene of bands embracing a more melodic, often delicate and ambient side to the genre. Where bands such as the likes of Alcest and Agalloch (although vastly different, they share some ground in Black Metal’s evolution in recent times) adopted more ambiance and earthy atmospheres were surprising and evolutionary, nowadays such acts are much more commonplace, and thus the cream of the crop becomes harder to stand out.
Formerly a one-man project courtesy of Cameron Boesch, Nullingroots are on course to release their first album as a full band (and their first release on Prosthetic) and, whilst not proving to be a stark turn for atmospheric black metal, do show enough song-craft to be a presence.
The key to the worth of Into The Grey (Prosthetic) is that it strikes the perfect balance between atmospheric melodicism and the pure visceral, all whilst ensuring the facets flow fluidly throughout and simply by nailing each side. With lengthy song durations which ebb and flow between emotions and paces, Nullingroots aren’t adding anything extravagant to the formula, nor proving revolutionary by any stretch, they are simply doing such aspects really well. The album’s center-point ‘Rust’ perfectly encapsulates this and is the highlight of the entire album; veering and twisting, seeped in melancholy through intense heavier passages to walls of drifting shoegaze you can lose yourself within.
In an ever-crowded scene which still provides as many new exciting and dynamic acts as it seemingly does pretenders to the throne, atmospheric Black Metal is nonetheless a vibrant arena of creativity; and whilst Nullingroots may not present much on the new ideas front, a lot can also said for simply mastering the elements. The first release for the band as a whole unit opposed to a solo venture, Into The Grey makes up for any familiarity of style with an impressive level of song-craftmanship.