The End Of Christianity
Review by Felix on April 25, 2023.
The end of Christianity has yet to happen, but the end of the Finnish black metal freaks namely Nightside came very quickly. The debut from 2001 remained their only full-length. Even worse, this is no homogeneous work, because it compiles different recording sessions. It therefore makes more sense to speak of a legacy than of a debut. However, despite this difficult starting situation, "The End of Christianity" has its charm. Maybe Nightside did not enrich the scene, because they had no ambition to broaden its spectrum. The material mirrors a relatively generic approach that combines the typical harshness with some atmospheric keyboard lines. They do not gain the upper hand, but they also cannot be ignored in songs like "Night's Blackest Shadows". Voluntarily or not, Nightside deliver a kind of consensus black metal. They are surely not opportunist, I just want to say that probably every supporter of this genre will find some nice elements in the here presented sound.
One of the raw tracks must be mentioned expressly. "Summon the Holocaust" has a pretty catchy chorus, the keyboards are very effectively used and the throaty vocals are the dominating component. It is the most sustainable track and reminds me a little bit of some pieces of the debut of Norway's Ragnarok. In particular "The Norse Winter Demon" comes to my mind, because it has a similar keyboard line. Additionally, the degree of harshness is roughly comparable. For sure, the music does not lack vehemence, but bestial or barbaric ingredients did not show up in the recipe of its creators. On the other hand, the warriors from Suomi cannot be denounced for gothic or sweet melodies. They stay on the middle of the road - well, consensus black metal as mentioned earlier.
It's a little bit sad that a few number of tracks suffers from ill-defined sections. For example, the sixth song has a rabid section, but the leads of the guitars remain expressionless. No doubt, the corpse-painted guys can do it better. Already the next piece, "Demon Metal", is kicked off by a contagious riff that cast is spell upon the listener. The song is driven by this thrashy riff, nevertheless, this is pure black metal. By the way, I am speaking about adequately produced black metal. "The End of Christianity" is no prime example for transparency or brutality, but it conveys a mostly frosty climate and there are no quality differences between the two separate recording sessions. The strict and grim "Under a Thousand Stars" marks the best song of the second session, but the following "Where Darkness Shines" also takes the audience on a wild ride and spits on harmonic elements. So it's up to you whether you want to dig deeply in the underground in order to find this output and give it a chance. 17 years after its release, it still spreads belligerent vibrations.
Appendix: an annoying detail is that the pressing of the disc was not flawlessly executed. The strong, hammering opener is torn asunder by an abrupt, short moment of silence.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10222