There’s a certain sense of wonder that is found in almost all instrumental rock and metal albums given how the two styles rely on vocals just as much as the instruments. But styles like doom metal or psychedelic rock are what I tend to gravitate towards more simply because they work better as instrumental pieces. I like it when black metal becomes atmospheric, but I’ve rarely entertained the thought of instrumental black metal. Naturally, there’d be loads of atmosphere in such a creation, and The Nightly Disease makes it out to be no less than in its best moments.
With a title with the likes of “Smell of Burning Wood”, you could’ve convinced me this was an ambient or even dungeon synth album before instrumental black metal and I wouldn’t have any questions in the slightest bit. Yet, this debut EP does everything that we’ve all known atmospheric black metal has been able to accomplish with no less than top-tier levels of quality that The Nightly Disease pulls off masterfully for both of the 16+ minute tracks. And the thing that has always had me worried with the idea of this style is simple: how well the music keeps the attention of the listener. That’s possibly the quintessential factor for any instrumental record ever, and “Smell of Burning Wood” executes it without flaw from the enticing sound of a crackling fire and footsteps in the snow to the wondrous use of keys and the hypnotic riffs that make The Nightly Disease sound like an act that’s been practicing for decades to hone something as refined as “Smell of Burning Wood”. It’s something that really lures you, captures your imagination about the nature of nature itself, and keeps you in a trance that shows you the glory of solitude in the forest where your only partner is the sound of the fire and the scent coming forth.
I knew that it was only a matter of time before I came across an instrumental black metal record, but I never would’ve expected something like this at all much less from a debut EP. The Nightly Disease blows all previous expectations right out of the water while continuously impressing without fail at each turn to make “Smelling of Burning Wood” an experience that’s both engaging and seductive. Of all the brand new black metal acts that have come our way in the last few months, I can honestly say that The Nightly Disease is easily one that should not be ignored and have a close eye on at all times.
LISTEN to “Smell of Burning Wood” on Bandcamp here or via YouTube below.
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