Nightbringer – Mors Philosphorum
Temple of Not – Temple of Not

Full Moon Productions

Speaking of FMP, here’s a fine split by Nightbringer and Temple of Not from 2005. It’s the official debut for both acts. The former contributes four tracks of black metal, while the latter turns in two long tracks of dark ambient. Temple of Not is actually two of Nightbringer’s three members. For thorough insight into both bands, see this interview by FMP’s own J.B. Bauer.

When I first heard the split, something about Nightbringer seemed strange, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. The interview revealed that it was the guitars. One band member composes parts on piano, which then get transcribed for guitar. This leads to atypical riffs and chord voicings. Also, the band records guitars clean, then re-amps the parts for a uniform sound across songs. Of course, the final product is what matters, but it’s an unusual way of working.

As for the final product, it’s a grower. It doesn’t smash you with blastbeats, nor does it drown you in depressive ploddings. The tempos are generally midpaced, and the songwriting is subtle and non-repetitive. But after several listens, the atmosphere and nuances sink in. The minimal, menacing artwork helps in this regard, although the microscopic gothic font is unreadable (thankfully, someone put up the lyrics at Encyclopaedia Metallum).

The Temple of Not tracks require even more patience; I initially wrote them off as “boring.” However, after turning them up and turning the lights down, I hear that “Temple of Not” rises to an effective, eerie crescendo, with unexpectedly hairy bursts of white noise. “The Sunken Houses of Sleep” isn’t as focused, rising and falling to the beat of a single ghostly tom.

Nightbringer is currently completing a new album, due out shortly. In the meantime, you can find this split at Full Moon Productions.