BLACK METAL ON A DIFFERENT PATH
North Carolina brings many things to mind. Laid back American Southern culture, amazing food, sports, and Black Metal? Well, maybe not. Then again, the life circumstances that produce Black Metal exist everywhere, including North Carolina. With that, allow me to introduce Nihilum. A one-man entity that delivers Black Metal with all the established hallmarks, yet with a unique introspect. With two EPs, Call of the Void and Sunless Death, both released in 2020, certainly Nihilum will soon be on the road to great success. MHF talked with Nihilum recently. This is our conversation.
Nihil – Bass, Guitars, Vocals, Lyrics, and all Songwriting
Jere Jolkkonen – Drums
1. Greetings from Metalheads Forever and from Colorado! How is life in North Carolina?
Hello! I hope you guys are doing well! Life isn’t bad. We have had a couple of weeks of dreary cold weather and I am loving every second of it.
2. I’ll be upfront; I’m not a fan of Black Metal, but it is growing on me. I’ve listened to the more popular bands (as recommended by friends.) I can hear their influence on your sound. Yet, there is a certain intangible. What new wrinkle do you bring to the Black Metal table?
Black metal is definitely an acquired taste for sure, especially depending on which era you start with. Watch out though, once you catch the bug, pandemic pun intended, you can’t go back. I think that I share a lot of sonic similarities with bands that you have probably listened to, and to those who have been listening to black metal for a while, probably even more similarities. I think lyrically is where I walk a different path. I prefer to explore different territory.
3. Now is the time to announce yourself. Tell us who you are and why the world will soon know your name.
Well, my project is called Nihilum and as to the world knowing my name, I don’t know about that haha.
4. For the completely uninitiated, how would you describe Heavy Metal? How would you describe Black Metal?
Oh boy, that is a big task. I will try to be concise. Heavy Metal: the subculture for those who hear what shit music is played on the radio and want something real. Black Metal: Freedom.
5. Reading your bio, you grew up in an “extremely religious environment” (I can relate…we’ll compare notes later) …and this influenced your musical direction. What was your first experience with Metal and how did things evolve to the present day?
My first experience with metal was probably Metallica. It may have been something else but, Metallica is what stands out in my mind clearest. As far as my music listening’s evolutionary timeline, I just kept digging. I Kept exploring the depths that metal offered. Deeper and deeper, heavier and heavier. Once I discovered Black Metal, I felt I discovered what I initially set out for.
6. Lyrically, which Nihilum song gives you the most pride? Yes, you can choose more than one. ????
That is a hard one. I would have to pick some lines from a few different tracks. Probably Call of the Void, Omnicide, and Sunless Death. While I am not saying all other lines from all of my other songs are shit, there are just a few lines in those songs that I am extremely happy with. I don’t really feel it is appropriate for me to take responsibility for those lines either, that I would view myself as some illuminated or talented person. Once you are headlong in the creative headspace, you really don’t have as much control as you would think. Things just kind of come to you. That’s how I feel at least.
7. It’s no secret that some of the biggest names in music had some of the lousiest jobs out there. So….. I gotta ask. What were you doing (or maybe doing currently) before Nihilum?
What was the worst job I’ve had? Well, I have had quite a few jobs that I did not like. I guess the most hopeless job was this wine factory I worked at for a little bit. I pretty much did the exact same thing every day. I didn’t stay at that job for very long.
8. I’ve recently been through North Carolina. A wonderful part of the United States. If I were to visit again, what is the one place I absolutely must stop for BBQ? Please bear in mind, I’ve recently asked this of another NC band.
So, I am not originally from North Carolina, I am just here for work. I am from the Kansas City area of Missouri, where I will be moving back to shortly actually. So, I will give you a spot in Kansas City instead: Slaps BBQ has some of the best BBQ I have ever had. I am a relatively well-traveled person and I have not had this good of BBQ in America. If you ever find yourself in KC, definitely have a meal, or three, there.
9. We appreciate your time and wish you all the best…any parting words for our readers?
I very much appreciate your time as well. Not really, other than to promote the most recent release, Sunless Death, and to say that there is much more Nihilum to come, so stay tuned!
Music and Merch: https://nihilum.bandcamp.com/releases