I first encountered “Immaculate Deconception” two-and-a-half years ago when it was released as a single on tape (by the Ukrainian label Depressive Illusions Records), and wrote about it here soon after. Later that year, in a revised recording, it was included on this band’s latest EP, Madness Incarnate, which was released by Symbol of Domination Productions (and is still available through that label on CD, as well as digitally). And now, we all have a chance to revisit this striking song because it has become the basis for a new lyric video that we’re premiering today.
For those who might be discovering Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus through this video for the first time, it is a Philadelphia-based black metal band co-founded by a man of Finnish heritage and dual citizenship (Mika Mage); the band’s name means “nihilistic barbarity”. On Madness Incarnate he composed all the music and performed guitars and synths, enlisting drummer Joffre Videz and bassist Manuel Rodriguez for the recording, and vocal contributions from James Dorton (Black Crown Initiate, Nightfire, Aborted Existence, Antikythera), Joel Robert Thompson (ex-Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus, Omelas), and Gary Hadden (Lesch-Nyhan) — whose voice you’ll hear and whose lyrics you’ll read on “Immaculate Deconception”.
When I first encountered this track, which both recounts and seems to celebrate the bloody unraveling of Christ’s life, I described it as “a juxtaposition of beauty and the beast”, and that still seems a fitting way to introduce the song.
The vocals are ferocious and feral, a changing array of horrid, cavernous roars and lacerating shrieks. And the hammering drums and sandstorm gales of sound have a barbaric quality as well. But the mix of keyboard and guitar melodies are engrossing and memorable, ranging from the intense and urgent to the panoramic.
At times, the music conveys the burning magnificence of a solar storm, especially at the outset (in a sequence reprised near the end), when the melody shines and blazes, but then morphs from a mood of burning chaos to feelings of tension, gloom, and pain. As the storm of sound softens, a rippling guitar arpeggio over a slow bass hum and a subdued drum beat shines in a different and alluring way, and the song further includes raking heavy metal riffs that will get your head going.
As noted above, Madness Incarnate is still available digitally and on CD from Symbol of Domination, and all the songs are well worth your time. With luck, perhaps we will have new music from Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus in the new year.