Nyss – Princesse Terre (Three Studies of Silence and Death) (Review)

NyssNyss are a French ambient/atmospheric black metal band and this is their debut album.

Nyss play raw, underground black metal that’s inspired by the second wave, but then fleshed out by atmospheric and ambient influences.

Keyboards are employed quite frequently to add further layers of depth to the sharp music. These are usually subtly done, but are still an important and effective part of the Nyss sound. Occasionally they take centre stage as the ambient influences come to the fore, and these sections are quite enjoyable, rather than being pointless filler as they can sometimes be in the hands of lesser artists.

As well as delivering some quality blast beat-fuelled second wave frostiness the traditional instruments are also used to effectively build and maintain atmosphere. These work especially well alongside the keyboards to create absorbing soundscapes of grim grandeur.

The songs are full of bleakly emotive content and some of the riffs, leads, and melodies are quite sublime. Nyss seem to have a talent for merging together raw aggressive ice with resplendent dark beauty. There’s only 30 minutes of music here, but it’s music that’s powerful enough to take the breath away.

Think of Nyss as a mix of bands such as Darkthrone, Vinterriket, Terra, Burzum, and Wodensthrone, if you will. It’s a heady combination that has resulted in an extremely enjoyable album.

An essential listen for any atmospheric black metal fan.

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