Nucleus Torn – “Knell”

You can find a Spanish version of this review in Friedhof Magazine, an extreme metal magazine. It’s thanks to them that I got it, and they are kind enough to let me republish this on my personal site.

Nucleus Torn – “Knell”
Prophecy Productions
Progressive / Dark Ambient
8/10

The first time I listened to “Knell” with the prospect of reviewing it, a few weeks ago, I felt like the world was crumbling over me. “Knell” is a complex piece of work, an amalgam of classical bits, progressive segments and nearly silent intermissions that makes the task of telling something about it that doesn’t sound fragmented and a little incoherent just short of impossible.

It’s one of those records that you can’t grok the first time you hear it. In fact, first hearings are quite boring, like a school lesson from an uninterested teacher who keeps going on and on in a monotone voice. It’s a complex, enigmatic, evoking album, which can, and must be listened to on so many levels. Dark, minimalist, upsetting and many other adjectives could also define it. Depressing and inspiring, relaxing and stimulating at the same time. It’s an album which is as best suited to listen when you go to bed, as to listen when you’re trying to start your creativity for working.

Only as you go through repeated listenings, with all the attention it’s worth, you can appreciate the presence of each and every instrument, the very purpose of its intervention. Piano, bouzouki and female voice on the soothing, intimate and whispering calm-before-the-storm moments; male voice, guitar and percussion on the all-out storm ones, strident, interspersed with quasi-silent segments during which each and every echo of previous sounds is left to die -for minutes- while sinister conversations between violin and cello take place.

Too many words that can’t hope to describe an album which encompasses both the deepness of classical music and the energy of the most avant-garde progressive metal. If you can excuse the pun, you can’t judge such an experimental work just by reading a few paragraphs: you need to experiment it. Go through every layer, slowly digesting it until you extract your own conclusion. The only sure thing you can expect is that you won’t be indifferent.