Katharsis by Nigh/T\mare
Pestling Techno to concoct a more revealing potion
Like the music of Norwegian peers Pact Infernal, the vibe on this monster of a Techno album from Nigh/T\mare (aka Giuseppe Sciretti) is regulation voodoo: dark and ancient rituals, chanting and hypnotic tribal rhythms, intoxicating track titles and hallucinatory visions. But, alas, no black magic. Nonetheless, we have all the ingredients we need for an exquisite horror experience.
Impure opens proceedings with a deliberately unfolding build, scenes of animal sacrifice and men with painted faces and skimpy thongs manifest with the ominous strings and scurrying percussion. Passions rise on Self Immolation, the increase in tension proving rather affecting before the pained screeching on Anti Balaka. Then the breakout moment that provoked so many repeat listens: Unarmed. And note, Unarmed is not your obligatory soothing, Techno-album-Ambient-interlude either but a full-on beautifully-composed instrumental. Unarmed is disarming. It breaks the spell. It also breaks the flow a little, which isn't a bad thing really; building up to a blood-drenched ceremonial centrepiece is just too obvious. Unavoidable Unveiling tackles the build once again but the melodic refrain that creeps in around 3:30 wipes out any lurking evil and lifts the spirits.
Like concluding rites, the two vocal tracks near the end, featuring LAIR (Laura Kilty) and Prophän (Othman Cherradi), confound listener expectations further. Is this a nightmare or not? Prophän sounds like an African OAKE while LAIR's ghostly intonation is truly tainted; the sound of exiting malevolent spirits (the album is called Katharsis after all). So closing track The Path of the Moans is a fitting end, the wispy remnants of an evil resident, banished from your being, a hollow sound echoes as it fades away.
There are two remixes tacked on at the end of the album which I feel probably shouln't be included in the album as a whole, even if they are both excellent. Would have made more sense to have a separate remix EP.