Australian duo Nefariym promise a return to the HM-2 soaked days of the nineties with their debut album Morbid Delusions; and, whilst there’s a fair bit of truth to that description of their activities, I’m happy to say the band seem happy to stray off the left hand path occasionally as and when required, giving what might have been a one-dimensional exercise in nostalgia some much needed weight and variety.

The first couple of songs truck along nicely, doing nothing to make the listener suspect anything out of the ordinary, but then Tearing The Flesh From The Bone appears and it’s on for young and old; Here the band add glorious swathes of doom to their sound – no surprise really, given that both Mark Kelson and Richie Poate are both members of Aussie doom kings The Eternal as well as forming Nefariym – whilst the superb Wallow in the Filth further expands these themes, with Poate allowing his inner Schuldiner to run rampant all over the place. This is undoubtedly a good thing.

Monolithic Dread is even heavier, adding some nu-metal dissonance to the pot to guild the stinking Brit death lily of the riffage – you can’t beat a bit of crust in my book and this has more of the stuff than a fresh delivery of Hovis at your local bakery – and on the doom laden, spooky Humanity Fails the band take these influences to their natural conclusion with a crushingly epic symphony of unforgiving riffage, Kelson’s near-indecipherable roar, punishing jackhammer percussion and some nice wang-bar terrorism thrown in for grim-visaged shits n’giggles. This is indeed the good stuff…

Poate unleashes another storming solo on Endless Decay, which mixes up moods and tempos expertly, and it’s here that you realise just how well considered everything here is. Nefariym may be a side project, but it’s a bloody good one, constructed by two musicians who clearly love and know their subject matter inside out. They round things out with a brutal take on Celtic Frost nugget Circle of the Tyrants (originally released in 1985, a bit earlier than their nineties brief should allow, but you won’t hear me complaining), and I’ve got to say that, after nine months of being consistently impressed by the death metal thrown at me from the Antipodes in 2021 Morbid Delusions might just be the best of a very good bunch indeed!

Morbid Delusions
releases on September 24th.