Adversarial – Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism


Best enjoyed with your morning coffee and browse of the NWN forum…

Review by Dan Alderson

Dark Descent Records

Release date: 21 August 2015

When I saw Adversarial class themselves as “Nihilistic Warrior Cult Death Metal” I jumped at the chance to review them, because I am a sucker for kvlt-ish pretension and not the most jolly chap you will ever meet. Adversarial’s self classifaction will probably require a quick translation for a lot of readers, so here goes: Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism is a dark, dissonant and, of course, completely kvlt form of extreme metal. Adversarial take black and death metal elements to create twisting arrangements of pure disdain.

The atmosphere the band is going for is mainly created with the great guitar work on offer, using technicality and dissonant note use tastefully. It reminds me of the work on Immolation’s Close To A World Below in places, which is only a good thing in my books. The performances overall are great, the band can play and know exactly what they want to create. No attempts at any form of accessibility can be found here, meaning the band will mostly appeal to only the most total veterans of underground extreme metal. However, this is obviously exactly intended and Adversarial hit the nail on the head with their effort on this release, presenting an artistic and accomplished package within the 37 minute run time.

The songs are dense and at times quiet layered, meaning the album takes a few listens to even penetrate before fully appreciating what Adversarial are creating on their second effort. But in all honesty once I got to grips with the album, I was left cold for a lot of the run time. I was hoping for more destructive riffing and the band don’t really use it too often. I feel the songs build themselves up nicely for some more direct, heavier riffing but that dynamic isn’t really there that often. A brilliant example would be on my pick of the album, ‘Cursed Blades Cast Upon the Slavescum of Christ’. Towards the back end of that track an absolutely bludgeoning riff straight from the Dead Congregation / Incantation school is introduced, devastating the listener after a slow, murky atmospheric break in the track. It’s effective and utterly world ending and I wish there was more riffs like that employed here.

Adversarial don’t really sit 100% well with me and they haven’t gained a fan here. However, I can say the band have created an accomplished and enjoyable release in this style. Best enjoyed with your morning coffee and browse of the NWN forum. Fans of Mitochondrion, Zealotry and the previously mentioned Immolation will find suitable enjoyment. Fans of modern period Gorguts may also wish to investigate this release as well. Adversarial should earn some support and fans with a solid second effort on Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism. It just happens they’re not quite for me. I urge fans of this style to check this out, but I wouldn’t say this is all that essential otherwise.

Adversarial 20156.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Dissenting the Waking Shell
  2. Intro
  3. Immersion Void Paragon
  4. Eonik Spiritual Warfare
  5. Interlude
  6. Cursed Blades Cast Upon the Slavescum of Christ
  7. Old Ruins Slumber in a Crushing Hatred of Man
  8. Lone Wresting Hymns to the Warmoon of Chaos
  9. Death Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism