NERO BELLUM “NFRN°” – album review


Nero Bellum (of Industrial-Metal act Psyclon Nine) presents his eponymous solo project. Recorded live over two years, each piece in this collection is an exploration of synthesis in the modular domain. Each piece was improvised, with no overdubs, & without the use of computers in the creative process. The result is ominous, heavily atmospheric, percussive, dark, experimental modular electronica.

“We live in a time in which electronic music has become foolproof & ‘perfect’ with a level of mathematical/computational precision never seen nero bellumbefore. To my ears this perfection has become stagnant to the point of sterility. With most music being entirely composed within a virtual environment I decided to embark on a journey to find physical instruments that would resonate with my desire to create an antithesis to the current state of electronic music. My goal was to find songs through experimentation while capturing every click & pop in the process. Every imperfection that would otherwise be edited out and discarded would be celebrated and pushed forward to the center of my canvas.”

“My journey would guide me into the world of modular synthesis. The concept of an instrument that could be customized & reconfigured to my liking was very appealing. While many ‘fixed-format’ synthesizers offer presets that can promote repetition, modular synthesizers force the user to build an instrument from the ground up.”

And this new release certainly demonstrates that clearly, with the album’s opening track kicking off with eerie drones drenched in reverb, distorted glitches and rumbling synth bass. The instrumental album is often a difficult path to take, as creating an environment that keeps the listener engaged can be tricky. Which is where this release does fall a little short. If you are really into your industrial glitch noise stuff then this is probably right up your street, but for the average alternative listener it can be a bit of a laborious listen. Although that said, this would be perfect, and I mean perfect, for a film or game score.

Overall, an expertly executed journey into the more arty and avant garde side of this artist. And that’s exactly what this is, art. So expect no entertainment.