After a bit of time off and a change of frontman having recently recruited Dilan Alves into the fold, British progressive death metal group Nexilva has returned with the first of a two-part EP series, and this first instalment is called ‘Aseity: I’.
Despite being two years since now ex-vocalist Gary King‘s departure (who is now fronting From Sorrow To Serenity) and almost radio silence from the rest of the band, Nexilva have slowly started to generate some momentum culminating in a fantastic performance at this year’s UK Tech-Fest.
The band have always managed to display a ferociously terrifying sound with tamed aggression that’s complimented superbly by layers of atmospheric etherealness, and this is exactly what ‘Aseity: I’ delivers.
‘Redeemed’ showcases a heavy symphonic background which flows effortlessly through the track, yet it’s periodically cut open by Alves‘ throat-ripping vocals. The orchestral aura of the song shows a more peaceful side of the band, but the staccato guitar riffs that pepper throughout brings us crashing back to earth. There’s a real technical heightening to Nexilva (coupled with some insane grooves) that they’ve clearly worked on during their time off.
First single ‘Decades’ includes interesting changes of pace, often flitting between completely relentless guitar riffing to a slightly slower affair with keyboards sprinkled at the forefront.
That melodic nature continues through ‘Overview’, where some of the band’s most melodic vocals to date appear for the first time. With the impact of the keyboards bringing an almost ethereal atmosphere, Nexilva are clearly pushing the boundaries of their sound.
The power and precision of the three guitarists (Connor Jobes, Simon Atkinson, and Chris Keepin) is noticeable in spades throughout this EP. In particular, ‘The Twilight Prison’ displays some incredibly intricate guitar picking at various stages through the song, with each guitarist lending their skills admirably.
With such a sea change that a new vocalist inevitably brings in a band, Alves has shown himself to be more than up for the challenge. Some of the vocal arrangements through this EP can be a little one-dimensional, but the melodic nature infused into some of the tracks does bring a touch of diversity which sets them apart from contemporaries like Oceano and Whitechapel.
After nearly two years of no activity, ‘Aseity: I’ is a solid release with bags of potential for the live circuit.