Ah, blackgaze – the genre that, when done correctly, can be the most beautiful thing to grace a set of ears. As someone whose primary listening turns dark in the summer, it made sense to continue my sensibilities into pursuing what else is out there before I’m neck-deep into black metal for the next four months. Which brings me to When the Darkness Falls, an EP from the Ukrainian one-man project, Nuitville, whose emotional flair really caught my attention and held it for the duration.
Usually, when I talk about black metal, I tend to focus on the emotional degree and how compelling it is for me to go back and revisit any number of albums. What Nuitville has done is create an EP’s worth of meaningful music that plays with the listener’s expectations. The title track does this with ethereal female vocals that continue until the blast beats kick in about a minute into the track. From that point onwards, the music is chilly and atmospheric, filling it with enough reverb to echo throughout. Although the harsh vocals add a layer of emotionality that seems to become the center point at times, it’s the music that’s worth paying attention to, as the lack of vocal harmonies show that good blackgaze doesn’t need vocals to stand on its own. However, things change with “Cold Water,” a song that sounds warmer in comparison to the title track. Here, the atmospheric leanings are much more evident while adding a layer of playful rhythm. This strikes me as music for those moments of alone time, when you need to shift into another mindset or to just focus on what’s outside of yourself. Although I love the EP as a whole, “Cold Water” is definitely the standout track. It’s enjoyable, poignant, and filled with a certain vitality that really makes it one of the best songs on the EP.
I also wanted to give the final track “Recueillement” a shout out, as it is a cover of the Amesoeurs song of the same name. For those of us who miss this band, “Recueillement” is a fantastic cover and one that brings new life to this, now decade old, song.
All in all, When the Darkness Falls is a great EP that sets up the foundation for something new. Should Nuitville ever release a full-length, I hope it’s in the vein of the tracks presented here. I have high hopes for this project and I hope more things are coming. Then, again, I really like blackgaze and this hit the spot.