Vanity is a Virtue
(Sonic Age Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 The first thing that came to mind when I turned on "Vanity is a Virtue" is that it sounded like something The End Records would release. Maybe because it has an intelligence about it, found in it's ability to combine different elements in unpredictable ways. Modern progressive chords mingle with European styled keyboards, and a Rush influence is evident. Black metal riffs are shrouded in atmospheric keyboards, disallowing the sound to feel so extreme. These combine with a gothic, sometimes vampiric style in the vein of Tristania. Some songs present these influences in a more straightforward way, while others, like "Benighted," offer unusual timings and irregular transitions.
This surprisingly American band was founded by vocalist/bass player/keyboardist Christopher Morris. One of the more noteworthy attributes of Nicodemus is Christopher's diverse vocal styles. In addition to intermittent death growls and an authentic black metal screech, the predominant voice sounds sometimes like Maynard of Tool, and other times more like a nasally version of the clean Extol vocals. The vocal melodies are often as irregular as the instrumentation, but are strangely memorable and hypnotic. Nicodemus are a distinctly different band, with a lot of new ideas to offer. If you enjoy clean vocals, diverse influences, and darkly technical music, here's a good place to start.