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Nonexistence: Antarctica

Album Review

Dimmu-styled blackened doom, but without the dress sense

If one piece of advice might be given to Nonexistence, it would definitely be to work a little harder on image – after all, even if you are a one-man band, you can surely create a little more mystique than mainman Philip Santoll is doing by uploading photos of himself meeting his heroes at meet-and-greets and snaps of his Spongebob plectrums.

Luckily for him, what Santoll doesn’t possess in terms of self-promotion he makes up for with his songwriting, and Antarctica presents a collection of well-crafted and immersive numbers, which boast a certain level of musical sophistication and no shortage of catchy riffs.

While described as “Cosmic Doom Black Metal”, Antarctica is curious since it opens with a few melancholy and doomy numbers (albeit with blackened, croaked vocals), before dropping the pretence and continuing with unabashed worship of late-to-contemporary Dimmu Borgir, right down to the vocal performance, the use of synths and the bombastic swagger. Both faces of the project are similarly well-executed, but even though they’re slightly less flowery than the Norwegian giants, if you aren’t a fan of Dimmu, there’s no real point in investigating further.

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