There is always some interest around any new debut album released by ATMF, as in the case of the Australian band The Loom Of Time. The trio was founded in 2015 and quite soon put out the single-track digital release "Admirable, O Daedalus, Your Son", focused on the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, already highlighting their will to not limit their music to a single subgenre, moving between symphonies, distorted guitars, and so on.
"NihilReich" was initially released digitally in 2016, attracting the interest of the Italian label ATMF for the publishing of this well-refined physical edition. There still is a big fascination for a certain kind of late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century art and philosophy, as also shown by the choice of "The Two Crowns" as the cover artwork, a 1900 painting by Sir Francis Dicksee centered on the themes of masculine glory and Anglo-Saxon tradition.
So we set off on a majestic ride in the opener "The Ashes Of Your Fall", as the narrator challenges the masses that chose not to fight, as some sort of an Ubermensch:
«This was not forced upon you
You chose to be naught but a worm
Wallowing in every excuse you created
Incompetence was something you lusted to learn.»
Conceptually speaking, most of the album is based on the assumption that we as humans are nothing more than peons of the cosmos, hopelessly struggling to find some answers in gods, in the universe, or even in ourselves, on what actually seems to be our «road to nothingness» that will eventually end not leaving a single trace of our existence in deep space. Basically, all songs are built upon this opposition of an I/we that wants to rush on and fight, and a formless you apparently preferring the status quo.
Nevertheless, while all this is conceptually quite close to the traditional black metal canon, things get much more interesting in terms of music (and not strictly black metal per se). The three musicians were influenced by a wide range of styles, for example from death to epic metal, with a very aggressive yet melodic approach, including some notable singing variety by the vocalist Matthew J. Ratcliffe. The album is relatively short though, so it might be that not all of these influences will leave a solid and consistent impression in the long run, considering that there are changes of style even over the course of each individual song.
"NihilReich" surely is an ambitious debut album for such a young band, seemingly choosing to risk it all musically speaking by giving everything they got. The Loom Of Time is a name that could potentially find a good niche in this area of metal, especially if they manage to find better cohesion in terms of sound and a more personal conceptual approach.