Age Decay – Pavor Nocturnus EP

Pavor Nocturnus EPThere's a subset of folk that's paved and burnt to the blackest of black. It doesn't really have a name, but for this review’s sake, let's call it dark folk. Dark folk typically has the central melody and structure of any other folk song, but it adds a thick, moody drone and texture to the mix, giving it a sinister vibe. Chelsea WolfeMarissa NadlerGrouperEmma Ruth Rundle, and dozens of others have all adopted this style as a fierce, yet incredible sound. Dark folk almost always turns inward, with the vocals and instruments teetering on the brink of a primal scream. Age Decay extracts some of the best qualities of dark folk and extrapolates them over five songs on his debut EP, Pavor Nocturnus.

Age Decay, also known as Bristol singer songwriter Chris Nicholls, isn't just pulling flavours and re-animating a hideous monster. He's tinkering with texture and tone, pushing forward an expansive sound that sounds lo-fi and dark, but infinite and forceful. Throughout Pavor Nocturnus, there are moments of claustrophobia, almost giving you the feeling of being swallowed whole by the notes and pangs of percussion. Letting loose with great execution, Nicholls controls each composition with dextrous and ideal creation. "Strange Blood" is a highlight, as each layer of the song shifts around like spectres haunting a paranoid schizophrenic. It's exciting to see this kind of promise in an artist, a person who takes in the right amount of each nuance and allows every second to submerge you further and further.

"Paro" cuts deep, with a bellowing, almost Ian Curtis like drawl deep in the mix. During this noisy excursion, 80s-era Swans comes to mind, thrashing around with no-wave tendencies that march to a certain death for whoever is in his sights. "Pull It Ashore" is easily this EP's most reserved song, with almost shimmering guitars leading the vocals along a path, which begs the imagination of a foggy funeral of a dear friend.  Nicholls exudes so many great qualities throughout Pavor Nocturnus, which makes him a very promising artist to watch.

Release: 13th October 2014, Self-release

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