In the visual arts, there are times when what the artist chooses to include and what’s been left out are of nearly equal importance. It’s an element commonly referred to as negative space, and one can see evidence of it in numerous ways, ranging from typographical choices to the placement of images to the creation of optical illusions through figure-ground reversal.
As far as music goes, negative space most often takes the form of silence – the space between the notes, or when certain instruments drop out for several measures at a time. However, in the music of mysterious black metal duo Nameless Void, negative space takes on a very different meaning. On their Facebook page, they describe their music as “black metal but also drone, industrial, and noise.” That combination likely brings to mind bands like Gnaw their Tongues, Vessel of Iniquity, or even Sutekh Hexen.
However, Nameless Void’s eponymous debut EP actually has very little in common with any of those artists. Instead, the duo of SN (music) and RM (vocals) place their music within the single largest negative space of them all: the one that lies beyond the night sky – the place “Where Stars Forever Die,” as the EP’s opening track puts it. Thus the harshness on Nameless Void – of which there is plenty, fear not – is almost entirely the product of the astral cold that permeates every last second of its half-hour run time. Even at its noisiest, there’s something deep within the music’s core that’s reminiscent of the quiet early morning sheen that follows a night of heavy snow.
That stillness, however, is only an illusion – one that’s quickly shattered once the first blast of frozen atmosphere crystalizes inside your lungs.
Nameless Void is now available digitally, with limited edition cassettes following soon from Grey Matter Productions in the US (25 copies – order here) and Xenoglossy Productions in the EU (25 copies – order here).