Review: Nonexistent Night ‘In The Middle Of A Boiling Sea’

Sal Gallegos and John Rieder of Secret Fun Club initially teamed up with Carrie Feller of Hexa mid-2019 to record a cover of I Was A Teenage Werewolf for 2020 The Cramps tribute album Really Bad Music For Really Bad People. The collaboration continued with Prelude In Terror being the outcome (which features on this album) and thereafter the formation of Nonexistent Night.

Nonexistent Night 'In The Middle Of A Boiling Sea' Artwork
Nonexistent Night ‘In The Middle Of A Boiling Sea’ Artwork

Twelve months of hard graft ensued, resulting in the full-length debut In The Middle Of A Boiling Sea. The band have since added Alia Jyawook (cello/guitar) of Scary Pierre to the line-up and are according to the promotional notes, already working on new tracks for the follow-up record. It’s gratifying to see a band doing a Miles Davis by focusing on new music so soon after putting out the last record. A stark contrast to the likes of U2 who take forever and an age to put together 10 or so songs of hyped middle age mediocrity.

Unofficial Soundtrack To The Unconscious opens with dramatic piano and gothic vibes that remind you of Nick Cave during his 1990s Leonard Cohen phase. An instrumental, its Murder Ballads with a little post-rock layered in. As intonated by the title, it proves the ideal soundtrack to Requiem For A Dream, in fact, there are moments where I am reminded of Clint Mansell’s score to that film. A superb start.

The mood doesn’t get any lighter with One Year baring a startling similarity to Frédéric Chopin’s Marche Funèbre (Funeral March). The track’s classical inclinations provide a beautiful backdrop for Carrie‘s emotive vocals and fans of Chelsea Wolfe and Kristina Esfandiari (King Woman) will be able to appreciate it. Diamanda Galas also comes to mind with the sense of despair that is evoked, but the effect is more sombre than terrifying. Another winner.

This is the kind of soul enriching music that I can easily lose myself in…

Tessellations is a little more eccentric with jazzy flourishes and Siouxsie Sioux style vocal tics. The track feels as if The Banshees were transplanted to some French jazz bar in the 1920s, a smokey ambience and a sense of the theatrical is omnipresent. This is the kind of soul enriching music that I can easily lose myself in. Top notch work yet again.

Next up is the aforementioned Prelude In Terror, another instrumental which is positively elegiac in tone and that musically recalls the likes of Slint. It is progressive yet never leaves you feeling bored, unlike a lot of the genre which seems to favour virtuosity over feel. Although undoubtedly skilful musicians, the music is played with heart and is a delight to listen to.

Metaphysics Becomes Physics Becomes Dead Language may sound like the kind of title The Locust would have conjured up, but therein the comparisons end. For a start, the track is over eight minutes, and by my estimation, you could fit in at least ten The Locust songs in that time, if not more. Folky in places it reminds me of Plum Green, even a little PJ Harvey with the ‘90s alt-rock inclinations and is therefore one of the more ‘conventional’ sounding tracks on the record. Heavy apocalyptic Neurosis post-metal makes itself known too, in fact, the track runs the gamut of every cool as fuck genre and artist you can think of and is proof that it’s the ideal conclusion to the album.

Venamoris, Stress Positions and now Nonexistent Night, Three One G are absolutely on fire at the moment. Credit should be extended to label head Justin Pearson for releasing yet another stunning album and I look forward to the band’s sophomore effort.

Label: Three One G Records
Band Links: Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills