I am always amazed by solo projects in metal. One person writing all the music, penning all the lyrics and recording it all is pure, raw talent in my eyes. Feast for Lampreys is a solo project from the mind of Nymphon that was started in 2017 but the music is finally being released. Nymphon blends black, sludge and pinch of death metal to concoct an absolutely diabolical mixture of metal. The story told on Graveyard Abyss is about the destruction of the planet from the perspective of the last of inhabitants of our planet’s oceans and seas. The album opens with aquatic noises and some bass lines (done by Peter Albert de Reyna, the only instrument not done by Nymphon) until the guitars and drums join the frey before Nympohn starts snarling and growling to begin the telling of the sad story. “Boiling Gardens” meanders and winds around the bass and drumming as the guitars push the song into the depths. “A God Without Remorse” comes right out with some stellar guitars until the drums come in with the double bass firing on all cylinders. The song slows a bit with a female vocal verse done by Jessica Rose (she features on the last two tracks of the album as well) and is a nice contrast to the harsh vocals that are done by Nymphon. The song continues to fly along at warp speed in between the verses until it slows a bit into a killer guitar solo followed by some keys over the double bass drumming. Really cool change of pace in the music. “Secrets and Slime Eels” flies out of the gate with ferocity from the very beginning with rhythmic, galloping double bass as the bass and riffing slither around them. About half way we get a keyboard solo to liven up the mood a tad that immediately shifts into a quick little guitar solo before the vocals kick back and the track ends on the frantic, break neck note it began with. A slower start to the next track “Of Urchins and Worms” sees some fantastic guitar work by Nymphon as the track builds, incorporating the keys back in. Once the vocals kick in, the tempo slows down and crawls along at a slower speed, with the bass lines holding up the low end to let the guitars and drums creep along. The track then descends into the abyss as the guitars start swirling around the drums, pulling the listener down further until the keys kick in to shed some light on the track. Nymphon knows exactly when to incorporate the keys into a track to give it just enough contrast atmospherically. Bass and bubbles meet us on the track “Here She Lies”. When the drums and guitars kick in to join, the atmosphere is very somber and heavy. When Nymphon begins to snarl, it is filled with angst and pain, like when a eulogy is given. Funeral like keys begin to play as guest vocalist Katrina Embers somberly delivers her vocals. After the second verse, the track slows even more before the drums kick in with slow double bass and a single guitar begins to play overtop, soloing into the final time we hear Katrina singing her lines with the keys rejoining the mix to fade the song back into the depths. The title track kicks in at more mid-tempo pace as Nymphon snarls over some swirling riffs. I found myself nodding my head along to this track quite a bit. The speed of the track continues to pick up throughout track until the guitar solo but even then the drums are blasting away to help carry the solo along. It gets even faster after the solo, as the drums and guitars speed up to where the nod turned into full blown head banging and air drumming! “The Grave of Leviathan” sees Nymphon bring back the slower tempo that helps get things ready for the final track, “Neonate”. We see “Neonate” open up with some excellent sludgy guitar work and keys before Nymphon joins the song. We see guest vocalist Jessica again, as she softly sings her parts over the instruments. This track is a slow builder, it slithers along and begins to slowly build speed over the first half of the track, reaches its peak, and wiggles back down into the sludgy abyss. I appreciate my friend Jeff for showing me this cool little project (he and Nymphon are friends). I could feel the pain and sorrow behind every note and word as Nymphon told their story. Go give this album a spin once it comes and support solo artist as much as possible!
-The Metal Architect