A Review of the 'Aarni/Umbra Nihil Split' by Aldo Quispel of Doom-metal.com

This split album of Finnish Avantgarde Doom acts Aarni and Umbra Nihil is the first release to showcase to the world that a new Doom-metal label has risen: Firebox Records. With members of both acts being closely involved with this new label it comes as no surprise they get to kick start Firebox.

Both bands have previously released demo's and most of that material can be found back on this split. In fact all songs by Umbra Nihil can also be found back on their demo 'Enough, or Too Much'. Aarni's tracks are a combination of songs found on their second demo 'Duumipeikon Paluu' and three not yet released songs; 'Ubbo-Sathla', 'Liber Umbrarum vel Coniunctio' and 'Anima'. The first is a rather 'messed up' intro. The third is an intimate sad instrumental. Sort of like a sad nursery rhyme. Reviews of both the Umbra Nihil and Aarni demo's can also be found elsewhere on Doom-metal.com. So I would like to refer you to those for a description of the music found here.

Why buy this split? Well, the first and foremost reason would obviously be that the demo's featured here are not that easily available. I am not sure if you can still get them from the bands directly but it's save to say you would easily find them anywhere else. You also get a professional CD, which to me sounds as if it has a much fuller and richer production. And of course you get to support two of the most bizarre and interesting Doom acts our little genre has to offer.

Both bands compliment one and other well on this split. Neither of the two has been known to write conventional Doom-metal and both have nihilistic characteristics. This also means that if you like your Doom-metal filled with a good dose of heavy metal, death-metal or a groovy stoner vibe, you should think twice before getting this release. If these bands can be compared to anything at all, then it would most likely rather be to a band such as Unholy. Not so much musically, but in the pure avantgarde aspect of their music. To more open-minded people, I can recommend this album. Especially if you are into nihilistic, solemn doom-metal.