Nekhen – Entering the Gate of the Western Horizon (Review)

NekhenThis is the debut release of Nekhen, a blackened doom solo project from Italy.

Even though this is the project’s first journey out into the world, the brains behind the outfit is obviously not lacking in ambition. According to the press blurb – ‘The album is intended as a single song divided in 12 tracks, composed following the structure of the treatise as represented in the tomb, telling the night journey of the sun god Ra in the Amduat, “That which is in the underworld”.’

So now you know.

The release carries Egyptian themes not just stylistically, but musically too, laced into the fabric of the melodies and the atmospheres that are created. The music takes the kind of influences that bands like Nile, Melechesh and Arallu all use and deliver them to the listener as dirty, dusty doom that manages to portray an ancient grandeur through distortion and melody.

There are no vocals, so the music stands on its own, taking the full force of the listener’s attention. It easily stands up to scrutiny though.

As it’s playing along, it’s quite easy to get absorbed into this. The dark atmospheres and auras of mystery are all-pervading, creating a bubble of unreality that cocoons the listener in a little slice of antiquity.

My only real complaint with this, (and it is indeed a minor one, I suppose), is that I would have preferred to have something like this not carved up into individual tracks. As stated above; it clearly is one long 31 minute song, so why not present it as such?

Apart from this minor quibble though, Entering the Gate of the Western Horizon is a very enjoyable slab of ancient art channelled through present-day instruments.

Recommended.

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