Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is “Spiral: The Tail Eater,” by Dutch band Nihill, who play an apocalyptically noisy but strangely serene hybrid of doom and black metal. I’ve decided to turn the precedent I set with my Antediluvian post into a pattern of sorts, because nothing says “sunny summer day” like the most inhuman-sounding music I can find, right?

While Antediluvian is a frenzied, shapeless horror, Nihill is cold and forbidding, almost stately—the measured, deliberate throb that drives “Spiral” doesn’t waver for eight and a half minutes. What does change are the guitars: they accumulate in layers, each one more dissonant and tortured than the last, as though the song is slowly filling from the inside out with a critical charge of malevolent, alien energy. The whole thing feels like a gnostic ritual meant to unlock the kind of secrets that ended up buried for a very good reason.

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.