If Eschatologies is the portent or soundtrack to mankind’s ultimate destination as a species it is hard to know whether to be engulfed in bliss or unbridled fear. The new album from UK progressive death metallers Nexilva is a maelstrom of brutal invention and exhaustive experimentation, a tsunami of sound and vindictive intensity which is as excitingly unpredictable as it is frighteningly intrusive. It is an encounter which is almost too involved and adventurous for its own good, smothering the senses with so much imaginative mayhem and creative exploration that even after a dozen or so rampages through its hellacious depths new corners and facets are still emerging. The accompanying promo suggests the release is for fans of bands such as Born of Osiris, The Faceless, and Fleshgod Apocalypse, something you cannot disagree with and certainly it will not sit easy with every metal bred heart because of its vast experimentation but if technical violence and an unrelenting examination of senses, psyche, and imagination ignites fires for you than Eschatologies is a scintillating must.
Hailing from Sunderland and formed in 2009, Nexilva released their first demo The Viral Annihilation that same year before more dramatically stirring up attention with debut album The Trials of Mankind a year later. Followed by the Defile the Flesh of Innocence EP in 2011, the releases showed a band with not only massive potential but also the ability and bravery to cross pollinate numerous extremes of metal into one threatening yet compelling fascination. Their live presence was no less potent and exhausting either, the band gaining strong recognition as they shared stages and tours with the likes of Exist Immortal, Aliases, and The Algorithm as well as their own shows and festival appearances over time. Eighteen months in the making and mixed/produced by guitarist Andy Mallaby, Eschatologies is the next mighty step for Nexilva. It is a journey through scenery draped in technical, death, progressive, and black metal to simplify the landscape; climates of the fantastic, realistic, and portentous investigating the end/rebirth of man.
Released via Ghost, Eschatologies opens the first chapter with I: Teste Humanitatem Mori, a short piece which unveils an initial dark and welcoming ambience soon lit by a wonderful caress of guitar, its classical melodic touch soothing and inviting. All the while shadows are converging adding their menace to the rising vocal harmonies and warm melodies. They eventually break through with roaring caustic growls and stabbing riffs though they still court the elegance which voiced the start. It is a respectfully dramatic piece bringing clouds and uncertainty into view ready for The Misdirection of God to erupt with seemingly insidious intent. Immediately the vocals impress; the diverse ever shifting style and delivery from Gary King, very ably backed by that of bassist Ryan Banks, magnetic within the equally revolving and evolving tempest around them. The rhythms of drummer Connor Jobes rampage with crippling sinews and ferocious agitation from their every beat whilst the guitars of Simon Atkinson, Rownan Tennet, and Mallaby cast a simultaneously vitriolic and enticing web of sound around ears and thoughts. As mentioned previously there is so much accosting and intriguing senses that you cannot at first take it all in over one song let alone the album, but as traverses of and time exploring the song unveils irresistible bait like the classically honed keys with at times stand to the fore and in others flirt from a hollowed distance, the adventure just gets stronger and more spellbinding.
Both Our Progenitor and This Is Humanity, distinct in their characters and offerings are bred from the same almost bedlamic onslaught, though it is all controlled and precisely sculpted. The first of the two again concocts a lethal and enchanted storm for the beleaguered senses to immerse within, its predacious intent as rabid as it is contagious. The keys again seduce from within the uncompromising voracity and not for the last time whilst slipping easily aside the malevolent raging they provide a wonderful discord fuelled friction which just lights the imagination and pleasure further. Its successor takes a more premeditated preying of its recipient, grooves and keys seducing whilst riffs and rhythms cause havoc within the irresistible caressing. Twisting and turning not only itself but the psyche, the song adds hardcore vocals and progressive flights to its savagery, like the album making expectations redundant.
The melancholic II: Scientaia Tenebris opens up the next movement of the album to provide a respite before the venomous Necromancer seizes control whilst still employing the emotive melodies of its predecessor within its serpentine toxicity and rapacious enslaving of ears and emotions. Like all tracks, the song leaves you gasping for breath in body and thought, every turn a new extensive exploration to be taken within its whole endeavour. The Collapse immediately proves to be the same and with equal potency and success before the outstanding title track raises a new pinnacle for the release. The track spews malice and hostility from its first vocal and rhythmic touch, aligning them to punishing sonic and rhythmic frenzies. As all tracks to describe everything within would need a page per song but needless to say Eschatologies is a nonstop bordering pestilential rampage.
Cybernetic Lucidity disorientates and lacerates the senses next, its flailing rhythms and riffs a welcome distraction to the intensive suffocating invention broiling synapses from within their cage whilst after the dark and wildly simmering peace of III: СКЕЛЕТ, the band unleash the classically walled, viciously vehement Premonitions which features a guest appearance from Ricky Lee Roper. The track parades riffs and rhythms with a horde like mentality and appetite upon ears whilst its successor Invasion, lashes and chews on the wounds with sonic invention and a combined riff and rhythmic rabidity.
The album closes with first the tremendous Evil Will Prevail featuring Exist Immortal vocalist Meyrick De La Fuente, the song a ferocious blaze of spite, antagonism, and creative imagination. The track bewitches as powerfully as it annihilates, the expressive clean vocals and melody crafted passage towards its end a seduction within the masterful turmoil that lingers long into the final instrumental IV: Non Magis Adrogantiam.
Eschatologies is a thoroughly demanding and intensive proposition which only expands and broadens its hold and depths with every listen. As said there is a multitude of inventive exploits within every twist and turn which at times makes it a difficult listen in regard to taking it all in but unrelentingly thrills and invigorates as it bewilders and exhausts. It is a glorious maze of sound and invention from Nexilva, simply a ravenous fascinating aural kaleidoscope.
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