What the Beijing-based post black metal band Asthenia, formed by Asthen, delivers on this wonderful album is exactly what the band moniker describes—something truly personal and I would add exception. As cold as the melodic, fuzzy, atmospheric black metal musical world is, it is also richly layered and meticulously planned.
Take a listen to Asthen’s vocals. They are harsh and scratchy, and yet they achieve a remarkable harmony with the droning chord progressions, icy notes, and underlying vocal melodic drifts sang by Yiti.
Nucleation has no fewer than five superbly, specifically memorable moments, which, particularly for an atmospheric black metal album, is a tremendous accomplishment. The melodic progressions are exquisite, sometimes bringing into the fold just enough of what is best about Progressive music, and other times embracing gigantic, ocean-like melodies.
Nucleation‘s genius is in how it is both chainsaw black metal and an expression of moving, titanic, weeping melodic beauty. The parts are all simple, but together, they are magic. One of the best albums of the last year.