Nephilim's Noose - Blood Chants of Impiety (Life After Death)

Nephilim's Noose have politely informed me that, according to their canon, the ancient Hebraic giant behind their name not only owns and does not hang from the rope in question, but also “uses it on everybody!” A winning response to an annoying email, the clarification also encapsulates the band's boastful charm, as they make a playground of doom metal's cluttered living room. Bandcamp's endless supply of Weedian releases attests to the legacy of stoners still passing around Sleep's doobie, but these garish sorts of nostalgia enterprises have made it harder for other doom acts to stand out without coming across as similarly pandering and out of touch (with clean vocals, especially). No matter: These closed windows opened a door for death-metal acts like Mortiferum to splatter blood and fecal matter all over the shag carpet, the black-light posters, and the rose-laden coffin in the corner. You can catch a whiff of their fetid stench on almost all the best doom releases coming out these days, because for now at least, that's just where the genre's at. 

Thankfully, Blood Chants of Impiety is no exception, while also bringing more to the table than another Rippikoulu knock off. Listen closely and you'll hear Nephilim's Noose scouring the doom room for Polaroids of bygone flings with other genres, similar to what Worm did on their last full-length, Foreverglade. But if Worm cast Altar of Plagues’s blackened drone ritual in the doomy glow of a bioluminescent bog, Noose guide it on a lurching tour through the Nephilim's dungeon. Bonging toms and piano flitters accompany listeners on their descent into the murder basement, while victims' screams enter and exit the mix, as someone opens and shuts the door to a human furnace. It is the Nephilim, whose lumbering steps always hit half a beat slower than you'd expect, echoing layers upon layers of shrieks, groans, and distortion-drenched guitars. From its ambient opening, Blood Chants of Impiety explodes in a litany of crushing riffs and blackened up-tempo(ish) passages, whose best moments often come with traditional flourishes—and lots of clanging church bells. So even if the Noose’s sophomore effort falls short of Worm's standards in compositional and theatrical brilliance, there can be no denying the appeal of the down-tuned chuggery after the spooky organ splash on "Six Winged // Simulacrum." No, for better and at times for worse, Blood Chants of Impiety lives up to its label as a guttural rehearsal of doom's most beloved oddities, making for heavy and unsettling music that always ends in a laugh. In this sense, at least, the band told me right. The Nephilim has complete control—notwithstanding its indiscriminate butchery.