Halalnihil is an Hungarian project that's made around ten releases of abrasive harsh noise since its founding in 2010. This EP is available as a free download, as well as a single-sided tape by the label Fusty Cunt.

A high-pitched and piercing digital signal paves the way for raw shouted growls (a'la black metal) and surprisingly quiet pedal-distortion spasms. The songs are composed with care and range from absolute silence and high-pitched (and intentionally very annoying) squeaking to rumbling harsh noise and occasional metal beats in the distance, all the way to something of a harsh noise wall with static crackling. It all seems very intentionally planned and composed, and the contrasts are bold and major. Admittedly, I really fancy the bits with spoken words only, as the male voice has such depth it suits as a pleasing (and pleasingly original) contrast to the noise-bursts.

The songs have some fascinating qualities in their contrasts, but at times the sudden switches in style and volume level become just plain weird and clumsy instead of delivering the intended effect of submitting the listener under the power of sound. I'm also not too fond of the overall quality of the source sounds; the digital high-pitches are way sharper, cleaner and more plastic than the somewhat lo-fi and untextured rumbles and static harsh noise walls, and the growls seem shallow and amateurish. Everything seems too clean, polished and thought-out which is not a bad thing in itself, but the cleanliness doesn't bring out anything new or interesting within the sounds or compositions - more on the contrary, it demonstrates their lacking depth and makes the quiet parts sound empty and dull.

This one's more for those who appreciate the violent, offensive and "heavy for the ears" -qualities in noise than those looking for details and fascinating sounds within a mass of bursting and harsh abrasion. I'd say the artist needs to further refine his skills and vision before releasing an another EP, as this one leaves an unmatured and hastily assembled aftertaste. There's clearly a lot of zeal, originality and effort behind the songs and the whole project, but the overall sound and style need a lot of refinement before Halalnihil can be called commendable.

5 / 10