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There's beauty in the bleak, and Nodus Tollens is hell-bent on making it as vivid (and devastating) as possible. This solo black metal project is helmed by one who goes by Cicatrix, a figure of course shrouded in mystery but painfully exposed all the same through the project's penchant for extra-raw emotionality. Nodus Tollens' debut full-length Melancholic Waters Ablaze With the Fires of Loss lives up to its name, too: it's dreamy, like being lost at sea, but absolutely crushing, like the loss of life. If you're into the grittier side of black metal but still love a smooth atmospheric delivery, we've got the album's third song streaming below for your listening pleasure.

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"Willowing" contains just the right balance of black metal elements: earthy, barren production values join with Nodus Tollens' sense of restraint and pacing to generate a thoroughly engaging listen. Even though I'm not one for the rawer end of black metal, Melancholic Waters Ablaze With the Fires of Loss really hits a DIY sweet spot that ends up suiting the music far better than any hyper-modern approach would have. "Willowing" sees this play out over its runtime, with the song dancing and surging gently between ascents and descents, but never attempting to blast your brains out with noise too savage. When things are just right, you hear it almost transparently; with Nodus Tollens, the delivery is seamless and beautiful.

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Melancholic Waters Ablaze With the Fires of Loss releases July 7th via Pacific Threnodies and Trepanation Recordings.

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