Review: Nephrolith – Xullux

We’ve recently been contacted by Nephrolith in hopes for us to review their debut album Xullux. Well, even thought we took our time, because we’re lazy busy bastards, here it finally is.

First off, a little about the band though. Nephrolith are a Slovenian Black Metal (as if the picture above didn’t give away enough already) band who recorded a demo, called Vinsketh, in 2009 and just recently released their debut album Xullux.

Now you know as much about the band as I know. Make the jump to read my review of Xullux.

Nephrolith – Xullux

1. Alpha – 1:53
2. Spiritual Departure – 5:24
3. Purification Of Culprit – 5:40
4. Abandoned Essence Part I – 4:26
5. Intermezzo – 1:05
6. Abandoned Essence Part II – 4:09
7. Xullux – 5:36
8. The Tale Of The Conquering Dusk – 5:36
9. Nocturnal Perception – 5:21
10. Putrefaction – 5:50
11. Subsistence Of Decease – 6:24
12. Omega – 0:51

So, let’s take a look at the artwork first. Is that an undead Mother Mary? Looks like it to me. Not bad, I like blasphemy. The artwork isn’t really anything special though but it somehow works. You know what to expect when purchasing this album and that’s what an artwork is supposed to do, right? It’s supposed to help sell the album and if this doesn’t speak to Black Metalheads, then I really don’t know what does.

But let’s talk about the music now. The album starts with ‘Alpha’ and ends with ‘Omega,’ basically just an intro and an outro. While ‘Alpha’ is pretty dark, which includes tolling bells and piano, ‘Omega’ comes across rather Folk Metalish.

The production is top notch, for a Black Metal band, but not too good to call it vntrve. I really like what I’m hearing here. The solos are melodic and rather Black Metal untypical. The band isn’t scared to include acoustic instruments here and there, which add a lot to the songs, especially on ‘Spiritual Departure’ and ‘Subsistence Of Decease.’

While the album is pretty melodic, I wouldn’t call it Melodic Black Metal. This is Black Metal but Nephrolith experiment with melodic, acoustic and sometimes Heavy Metalish styles. ‘Subsistence Of Decease,’ for example, would have been a true Heavy Metal song if you didn’t listen to the vocals.

The vocals are Black Metal typical, while not being cheesy or over-the-top. Of all the bandmembers, the vocalist, Nerthag, actually stands out the least. Or wait, let me correct that because Tersagir, Nephrolith’s bassist, stands out even less. You can hear the bass though, which is pretty unique for Black Metal. Both guys do add to the sound though, they just don’t stand out that much.

Overall, the quality of Xullux is pretty high. The songwriting is great. The songs are mostly great, sometimes even beyond that. Considering this is their debut album, I predict a bright (or rather black?) future for Nephrolith. This album is definitely worth a listen, even if you’re not that much into Black Metal. It’s easy to get into, especially bearing in mind that the songs aren’t that long for this scene. A must-check-out.

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