N.I.L. N.I.L.

The untimely demise of Kreig has left a void in the hearts of many a black metal fan. Front-man N. Imperial’s new project may surprise some and repulse others but there is no denying the man is forging his own path. Resting somewhere between the more ambient, drone-y side of black/doom, post-rock and noise, Imperial has concocted something bizarre and eerily compelling. While most of the album ebbs along at a funeral dirge tempo, or at no discernible tempo at all, occasionally the pace picks up, although it would be wise not to expect Kreig-like levels of abrasion and vehemence. Perhaps the most intriguing offering here is a cover of "Bad Houses” by Big Black, Steve Albini’s ’80s experimental/post-industrial group. The cover seems out of place in a sense, with its contrastingly upbeat chording, but it provides a nice shift in pace from what is overall a rather suffocating experience. Not for the faint of heart, Imperial paints pictures here twice as bleak and unnerving as Kreig ever did, although that may not be what fans of his prior work are looking for. (Battle Kommand)