Since the dawn of our existence—the first fleeting seconds of humanity’s existence—man-kind has been on a journey towards a higher form. Manifesting in the obsession with deities and religion, humans have spent every second of every day slowly plodding towards some unknown culmination of intelligence, strength and beauty; perfection, some have come to call it. This concept of perfection, however, is about as tangible as a ghost—constantly eluding the grasps of our race, remaining just out of reach, but just within sight, that is, until Nexilva’s latest full length album entered the picture. Eschatologies, the third studio release by these Sunderland-based technical deathcore slayers, is a comprehensive display of pure musical perfection. Engaging, enthralling technicality blends perfectly with immersive lyricism and punchy, prolapse-inducing heaviness to yield a release that transcends the modern perceptions of what is good or great, but rather, serves as an archetype for what is divine and what is perfect.
With a beginning as subtle as humanity itself, Eschatologies spends its opening seconds creeping forth into the listener’s ears, awaiting a catalyst. Suddenly, without warning or probable cause, “I: Teste Humanitatem Mori” finds its catalyst and erupts enzymatically to life, jarring the listener with whiplash-inducing heaviness so suddenly that their vision might be blurred. This same frenzied attack carries on well into “The Misdirection of God,” and sets the pace for the duration of the release. Favoring speedy and intense instrumentation, Eschatologies follows a musical model not unlike the first centuries of mankind’s existence: rampant progression and unstoppable growth. Breaking through every plateau their peers have previously found themselves stopped by, Nexilva attack the listener with furious, lacerating riffs and machine-gun percussion that works hand-in-hand with brilliant, show-stopping programming and writhing, booming bass guitar. “Cybernetic Lucidity,” as well as “Premonitions” are tracks that display this soundscape in it’s fullest, most robust glory; layers upon layers of shred form a blanket that covers the listener, without being too dense or labyrinthine such as to dissuade them. The same pure, poetic use of punishingly fast-paced technical death metal-tinted instrumentation reigns as king throughout “The Misdirection of God,” as well as “Our Progenitor.” Indeed, every song on Eschatologies features some glimmer of this awe-inspiring canvas of crushing—yet creative—metallic mastery. Whether it’s a close-up view or a glimpse from afar that the listener gets is another matter altogether.
While it is true that humanity has been tirelessly grinding forward, step-by-step on their path to perfection, it is not necessarily true that each step has been at a sprint or a jog. While portions of Eschatologies reflect the speedy sections of mankind’s growth, there are moments throughout the album that bog the listener down in levels of heaviness that feel heavier than led and quagmire like cement around their feet. “Evil Will Prevail” shows this exceptionally well—as do the stunningly heavy “Necromancer” and portions of the otherwise-lightning-like “Premonitions.” These moments of soul-shredding brutality hit the listener like a shotgun blast to the chest, tearing open their chest cavity and shredding their insides without a second thought. While the guitars—typically a frenzied, high-fretted shred—drop down into trench-like depths of low, plodding chugs and the percussion cuts its pace down to a fraction of what It was, the vocals wreak havoc. Ranging anywhere from a high, screeching scream to contrast the booming music that serves as their canvas, or reaching guttural lows that practically mimic the notes roaring forth from the bass guitar. The vocal diversity that perseveres throughout the instrumental mayhem that Nexilva employ to crush the listener gives rise to the greatest aspect of Eschatologies—the reason it defines itself as the perfect form of technical deathcore.
All the while, as the instrumentation either blazes through the listener’s head like a knife through air—or crushing the listener like a steamroller does fresh asphalt, the vocals are always on point. While the instrumentation comes together in perfect harmony—creating an unstoppable cacophony of musical perfection—the vocals are never there to sour it; rather, they are just the pitch and speed that is needed of them. In this way, Nexilva function in one of the few completely honest instances of perfect synchronicity; and Eschatologies is the result. A picture-perfect painting of a sweeping, diverse soundscape, Eschatologies has its highs of technical brilliance, and its lows of crushing, intense heaviness—along with everything in between. Whether it’s the interludes (a place for the listener to take shelter from the storm) or the extremes that surround them, what Nexilva bring to the table with Eschatologies is a universal, comprehensive approach to deathcore so pure that it outshines every other star in the sky.
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? Climbing the long and tedious mountain—braving every obstacle and stalwart to progression—to perfection, Nexilva have finally arrived. The very pinnacle of technical deathcore, Eschatologies soars to heights that will likely remain unseen by the band’s peers for light-years to come.
For Fans Of: Ovid’s Withering, Lorelei, Born of Osiris, Slice the Cake
By: Connor Welsh