Sometimes records sit in the review pipe for no good reason for a very long time. And get passed over time and time again, just to be rediscovered more by accident than by design. This so happened with the Dying Ones from the Czech Republic. In 2014 Et Moriemur unleashed a pretty underrated Doom Metal album called Ex Nihilo In Nihilum via Solitude Productions. Just to get a re-issue very late in 2016 by Minotauro Records. So, why feature this album on the blog now, so very long after the fact?
First because they are good at what they do. There is no mistaking the doomish flavor in everything present on that disc. Et Moriemur adroitly mix contemporaries like My Dying Bride and Vanha with a whiff or early Tiamat. And they squeeze this bitter lemon of sorrow until there is no teardrop left to shed. Their melodies are well crafted with an abundance of hooks, riffs and solos, located in a lush soundscape where sorrow runs free. And you will have your fill: Proper Doom Metal, Funeral Doom, Doom Death Metal – all there.
Second, because this band should rename itself to Slick. Or The Smoothies. Or something. Et Moriemur produced this slick, pretty flawless record. Not one little fleck of dust in sight, not one note out of place. Ex Nihilo In Nihilum feels like the Teflon version of any Doom Metal record yours truly ever listened to. No grinding about the soundscape for these guys, no sir.
But – of course – this Teflon thing can backfire. Their tune is like being in a house that is way too squeaky clean. And where everything inside is painted white. A bit on the creepy side, ain’t it? The disc also exudes a certain level of sterility, a lack of emotion even if the band tries to inject some with gusto – in Liebeslied for example. However, for some reason the emotional part of this piece of doom evaporated to somewhere in space.
If you want to learn about real passion, take the rollercoaster The Reticent was able to produce. And yes, I am aware that this is Progressive Metal and no Doom. Yet, On the Eve of a Goodbye is a great example as to how to project genuine and credible emotion. It is a highly intense, grinding, burpy sorrowfest with a tendency to pull you down into a sea of tears. Not easy to get a decent review out when faced with a genuine sadboy story that really gets to you. Now take Ex Nihilo In Nihilum: The band pulls all the right levers for sure. Yet for some reason does not reach to these depths of emotional turmoil that others did.
Now, there is no denying the outstanding quality of the record. From song writing to structures and mixing/mastering, the band took great care to deliver. And they don’t lose any time: The ride down tear lane starts already with Sea of Trees. No silly intro, even if for a moment I had this horrible feeling the track would embark on some long forgotten cover Nazareth did back in time. After that one there is no holding back. You’ll get monologues, Doom Death growls sprinkled with tasty riffs and the occasional subdued solo.
Highlights? Sure, Ex Nihilo in Nihilum has them too. For starters the aforementioned Liebeslied stands out of these dark great clouds of sorrow like a black monolith.
But Nihil is a real delight to listen to. A spicy little progression gets you to a growly entrance into the bosom of this track. From there just let this wave of woe roll over you. Clear voice, growls and monologues, all there. Last, let me point out Black Mountain the 15 1/2 minute epic that somehow got appended to the bitter end. Whilst suffering from an inherent lengthiness, it captures the essence of the record pretty well.
To conclude, Ex Nihilo in Nihilum is an accomplished record. Almost flawless in execution, Et Moriemur present you with a truly epic and juicy morsel of true doom. The band covers pretty much the full spectrum of the genre, indulging in carefully crafted, opulent melodies that pull all registers the doom universe offers. Great doom, even if the emotional rollercoaster so necessary to success somehow lost itself on the way. This band has big potential and the RockmusicRaider crew for one will be on the lookout for more from this band.