Filipino death metallers Nullification were spawned from the filth of 2021, and quickly put their debut record together in June last year. Personal Records is giving Kingdoms To Hovel an international audience, and with its blatant disregard for anything past 1992, Nullification should be right up my alley. That album art by the way? Somehow gloriously DIY and yet much more professional than a lot you see. A good start.
Intro To Annihilation feels like the incidental music in an old 1960s kaiju movie, the scan through the jungle and mountains before the monster is revealed. I love those old Toho movies, so this was a killer touch, whether on purpose or not. The Sledgehammer is where it’s at though, exploding into savage guitar work and rabid vocals, all the while pummelled by a ferocious drumming accompaniment. You get a lot of Bolt Thrower/Asphyx low end rumbling, but there’s something a little more Floridian at play sometimes. That churning chug in Calamity From The Skies is pure Morbid Angel circa Domination, while there’s more than a touch of Glen Benton about vocalist Rozel Nikolaj Leaño.
this isn’t just a nostalgia trip; it is old school death metal done right…
Kingdoms To Hovel is a wonderful nostalgia trip to what feels like ancient times. The thing is though, this isn’t just a nostalgia trip; it is old school death metal done right. Not just aping a guitar tone or a style, but truly bringing back what was great about death metal to begin with. The ferocity of early Benediction in the brutal Deliverance From Chaos, the thrashy goodness of Demoliton Hammer in Negated Fields or even the gurgling stomp of Obituary in the absolutely righteous Everything… And Everyone (Nullified). It is all about the energy, the feel, the rage and the brutality of musicianship, the way it always should have been.
Kingdoms To Hovel is probably too simple, too pure in its intent for its own good. While others, plenty of others, are comfortable just rehashing old Dismember riffs and cosplaying as 90s Morbid Angel, Nullification are living it. Kingdoms To Hovel makes other old school death metal bands look embarrassing, and they do it with ease. Take note pitiful humans, your conquerors have arrived, and they have brought with them mighty riffs of death.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson