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Nick Vasallo


Label: Neuma Records

Format: CD

Genre: Compositional

In stock


If you were to connect seemingly unrelated things – Heavy Metal and the symphony orchestra, for example – you might be guilty of apophenia. That friction between opposites has never been a problem for Nick Vasallo, though – his music is equally at home in both worlds. Melding Xenakis, Varese, Extreme Metal, and Dark Ambient with gothic charm, Vasallo conjures up a muscular sonic battle that leads you on an inexorable musical journey to a conclusion where surrender is your best option.

Catharsis comes as a relief in his new album, Apophany (the follow-up to his Monuments Emerge of 2012): 79 minutes of varied orchestral and chamber works seared to the bone with a Metal edge. It strikes with precision (Vasallo is a certified martial artist, after all) and uses a refined timbral palette with filmic orchestral mastery to powerful effect.

The programmatic themes in Vasallo’s titles combine sources of ancient wisdom with contemporary spiritualism. The Eternal Return refers to Nietzsche’s challenge to imagine that every action one makes will repeat for all eternity. This track leads to The Moment Before Death Stretches on Forever, Like an Ocean of Time – a reference to the 1999 movie American Beauty: the monologue that closes with “and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.”

With epic performances from a variety of university orchestras and new music ensembles (including Red Shift, Wild Rumpus, and The Living Earth Show), Apophany is as gritty as it is satisfying. This is music for the metaverse, bedroom headphones, and giant auditoriums; but maybe not the parlor.

Cat. number: Neuma 150
Year: 2022

Composed and produced by Nick Vasallo.
Recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered by
Nick Vasallo, Zack Miley, and Zack Ohren.
Track 9 mastered by Erdem Helvacıoğlu.
Cover image by Claudatte Snyder ©2021
Photo by Denise Vasallo
All music published by Nick Vasallo Publishing (ASCAP) ©2022
Designed by Philip Blackburn 

6-panel wallet with 1 CD