BlackEternal is a cinematic black metal project. The one-man band is the concept and creation of the mononymous multi-instrumentalist, composer and vocalist named simply ‘Nightmare.’ Based in Henderson, Nevada, Nightmare creates and produces his work in his own Area 51 Studios, named for the infamous Top Secret US Air Force base located in the Groom Lake region of his home state. The name reflects his fascination with all things paranormal, occult dark and creepy.
Since 2016, BlackEternal has dropped a series of dark literary narratives set to equally chilling symphonic Heavy Metal music. Nightmare has created a whole new medium of storytelling with his sound. His previous releases (2017’s “6equj5” and 2020’s “Darkness Embrace”) blend Metal, Electronic and orchestral music into richly layered soundtracks for his stories.
Listening to a BlackEternal record feels like reading a scary graphic novel. The well written prose creates a captivating storyline while leaving enough space for the artwork to fill in the blanks. The difference here of course is that Nightmare draws his pictures with sound rather than ink.
“Darkness Embrace 2: The Oakenford Chronicles” is BlackEternal’s latest release, and a follow-up to his album released earlier this year. The record chronicles the narrator’s descent into madness. The epic 9:15 track “Halls of Darkness” finds a female narrator gradually falling further into delusion until ultimately landing in a violent psychosis. Her monologue is interspersed with Nightmare’s guttural lead vocals, functioning as a sort of alter-ego or Greek chorus to her rapid psychological decline. It is a spine-chillingly effective storytelling technique.
Musically, “Halls of Madness” matches the wildly fluctuating mental state of the story’s lead character. The piece alternates between ominous ambient synth soundscapes to intense Metal onslaughts. Guitars, strings and rapid-fire, machine-gun percussion grow ever more intense as the story progresses and our heroine declines. The mood swings back and forth, becoming more volatile and unstable with each pass of the pendulum. It is a thoroughly entertaining and terrifying listen.
Check out “Halls of Madness,” above. You can also hear the track on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. And follow the links below to connect with BlackEternal. Dim the lights, light a candle and dive into the darkness.