Nyseius – De Divinatione Daemonum

nyseiusYou know what good black metal has and often lacks?  Atmosphere.  Every year this guy right here (editor) pulls out Transilvanian [sic] Hunger not for the vocals, not for the incessant drumming, but for those guitars.  They flow like brittle snow around cold rocks in a chasm, and it just makes this time of year so vibrant with the feeling of death.  If any black metal can pull off at least that, we tend to like it, or at least pass it off as something to listen to now and then, or perhaps once, just to say you did.  And if you know black metal, you're aware there's a new band or release every day practically, France being one of the areas known for some of the more atmospheric of the genre, but typically people pull out all the legends.  Mütiilation, Blut Aus Nord, you know the names.  But if there's any country with a wealth of names beyond the so-called greats, it's France.  Why France?  We've encountered this recently with French post-metal, post-black metal, post-hardcore, etc.  It's clear it's time to shed that typical image of the French that's been around since World War II.  In their defense, all of the chaos and rotting bodies of the first war is what did it to them, and let's just say all that disgust has been channeled in the past decade into the right places.

  

Nyseius is still quite new to the game, but only in terms of published works.  They've been around since roughly 2002, but after a demo early in their career, of which you can only find a single track online, they didn't release anything until 2010 (which is where said track is from, a rerecorded version).  Following this, they've finally returned with this new one, De Divinatione Daemonum, in 2015.  We received some great, classic, Satanic black metal from the label ATMF just this past year, so knowing how that one went, we figured this would be a sure bet.  A horse at the start of a horse race where there were no other horses to be found.  Yeah, that was the analogy we came up with.

 

Nyseius have an excellent grasp of that bitter atmosphere mentioned earlier, making for an easy listen.  Easy in the sense of it easily leads you into pits of despair.  The guitars in particular create sweeping curtains of sound with that lovable, black metal haze.  Sound thee like a snowstorm at absolute zero?  If the answer is yes, then at least that aspect is successful.  Largely, Nyseius have that; they live in the snow, they spew snow from their gaping maws, their guitars/bass are frozen, and the drums are constructed from rocks that have never felt a moment's worth of warmth.  That being said the majority of De Divinatione Daemonum  wavers on a strange continuum, with the instruments dominating each other at different times.  A tremolo of the guitar might cut through everything like an axe through a blade of grass, the drums fading into the back so scarcely anything but the hiss of the cymbals is audible.  At other times the recording seems altered, with differing qualities of intensity.  The vocals?  Well, they do their thing but you've heard what they have to say already, countless times, they're more of an expected place holder.  Nyseius have a great foundation here on which to build their future, it just needs two things, variety and consistency.  When they hit a sweet riff it sticks, but then quickly lost in the whiteout of static, blasting drums, and fluctuations in instrument recording levels. So at times it strangles the life out of you, pleasingly so, at others it doesn't realize it's strangling itself.  Would be nice to see them pushing some thematic boundaries as well, because all of this imagery is the usual.  For what it is, though, there should be plenty of black metal here for the usual fan of the genre, but even then a single listen might be all the energy you have for it without letting it sit in the collection for awhile.

 

Nyseius Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Nyseius: De Divinatione Daemonum
Aeternitas Tenebrarum Music Foundation
4.1 / 5