Track Premiere: Liminal Shroud – “Nucleonic Blight”

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When I see cool (but seemingly incongruous) words slapped together in a metal song title, a Pavlovian response occurs, consisting of two parts: 1) the thought that this is certainly tech or brutal death, and 2) my brain drooling out my ear canal*. Once in a while, a particularly evocative pair warrants deeper reflection: What exactly is a nucleonic blight? It seems to imply a disease at the atomic level, a defect in the core of all matter. Maybe the very existence of nucleons is a plague on serene nothingness. Thinking in this direction, we quickly arrive at nihilism, a topic altogether foreign to black metal. Thankfully, Liminal Shroud’s take on the genre allows for a nuanced journey through these themes of preordination and purpose.

“Nucleonic Blight” begins in an ethereal mode with crystalline tones and Agallochian whispers; there’s a faint eeriness here that foreshadows the coming descent into doom and stately meloblack in the vein of Vanum and Anicon. Winding, long-form riffs unravel into single notes, ringing together in uplifting sections that nevertheless flirt with dissonance. When the track’s post-metal break arrives, layers are gradually stripped away, allowing our focus to fall on the yearning quality of the guitars. Where there’s yearning, there remains a drive to press onward, to reach a desired state, a force that fends off stagnation. Liminal Shroud’s willingness to both wallow in negativity and use it as fuel to power anthemic moments sets them above their monochromatic peers, leaving me longing for July.

Visions Of Collapse releases July 5 through Willowtip Records.

*Often, a third response will include me saying some variation of “he’ll ye brother” because I love cool words together.
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