Geesh, I hate rap! I'm starting to slowly come out of my "I hate everything that has to do with hardcore" phase to where I am starting to somewhat enjoy some of the old hardcore bands I used to listen to. But when hardcore bands put rap in the mix, I just cringe. Such is the case with X-Nihilo. The base of their sound is a very brutal hardcore-styled sound. They've got the hardcore riffs and screaming vocals that sound pretty good. However, it's the rapped vocals that grate on my nerves. I just can't get into it no matter how hard I try. Sometimes this band may sound like old Blindside or some of the current Solid State bands. At other times they remind me of bands like .rod laver or early Spoken, which put too much emphasis on the rap part.
Not don't get me wrong, it's not all rap...just too much for my blood. Rapping aside, this is a fairly strong effort. Songs like "Scars that Haunt My Yesterdays", and "Shattered" are tunes the just pound you over the head with aggression. It's just that rapping stuff...not to mention the female vocals in the title track that clash big-time with the screaming. It sounds a little better after multiple listens, but that high-pitched wailing that girl is doing just doesn't sound like it fits very well. Speaking of the female gender, the drummer here is a chick. She doesn't do too bad either.
Anyways...I can see many people loving this band. They are heavy and aggressive and have an overall sound that will be appealing to many out there. Fans of .rod laver, Spoken, early Blindside, or many of the Solid State "core" bands will probably dig this a lot. They even opened up for Exodus at a recent show, so somebody must love them. But in this opinionated world, my opinion says that I can do better by staying more on the metal side of things. X-Nihilo doesn't really lack talent, they just hit a genre that isn't my cup of tea. (Review by Matt)