SKULL463

NIHILIST, demo 1990 (1990, demo)

The skull:
Sometimes, two crossbones are not enough. In fact, sometimes, enough is never enough, as you can see here. It looks like whenever the artist was about to be finished, he decided to add something else, be it a bandana, some pirate runes, a stick of dynamite (?), or whatever that squiggly shit in the lower left is. It more or less works, but only because all the junk is added to the periphery of this fine piratical skull. He does seem to have something in his mouth, but at this low resolution, I’m having trouble making it out. Is it a clock? Is it an eyeball? Only Nihilist knows, and they just don’t care enough to make shit clear. Say what you will about the tenets of NSBM, but at least it’s an ethos.

The music:
If you couldn’t already tell from the logo, this is not the Swedish Nihilist, the band that spawned both Entombed and Unleashed. Instead, this is a thrash band from Georgia (the U.S. state, not the country!) I couldn’t locate this actual demo, but I was able to sample some other Nihilist tunes, and I must say, they seem to have been a pretty good band. They were fairly groovy for thrash, reminding me a little of what White Zombie would do, musically, on their lone good disc, La Sexorcisto, even if Nihilist aren’t animated by the same campy fun. This demo was even recorded by Scott Burns, so it probably sounded great. For a demo-level band, Nihilist were incredibly polished and impeccably tight, and while plenty of good bands somehow slipped through the cracks back in the golden days, I’m definitely surprised that no one has given this band the deluxe reissue treatment. This stuff is screaming for a Stormspell or Divebomb compilation to collect all of their demos. Get on it, intrepid reissuers!
— Friar Johnsen

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