Nihilist Abyss. Can you think of a band name that evokes a deeper, darker, more existentially dreadful feeling? Their new four track, self titled EP hosts the haunting single, “Parasite.”
For a recording outfit, Nihilist Abyss is heavy musically.” The project is fronted by vocalist, lyricist, and songwriter, Cherice Cosentino. Her dynamic vocals are backed by multitalented, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Nick DePirro, who handles everything from guitars, drum programming, production, mixing, and songwriting.
John Naclerio mastered the EP.
“Parasite” features extraordinarily tender vocals over powerful drums, heavy guitars both clean and distorted, and beautifully layered instrumentation. DePirro’s tasteful guitar volume swells highlight the verses. Cosentino has powerful control over her voice. She can shift from soft and delicate to powerful and ecstatic and she makes it sound easy. The lyrics /You hid your knife with a smile/ so nobody else could see/ who you are but me/ show the struggles and gaslighting often associated with having people like this in your life.
The track shifts fully into screamo territory in the chorus as Cosentino belts /I feel you taking me over/you parasite/. She details the pathological ways a parasitic human feeds on their relationships. As she puts it, “‘Parasite’…explores how strained relationships with family members can become lifelong traumas that we can’t sweep under the rug.” This is an extremely solid and evocative first single to come out of the new EP Nihilist Abyss. Be on the lookout for more singles coming in November and December.
Do you consider yourselves a duo? A power trio?
I started this as a solo project, and over time it’s evolved into being more of a duo with Nick coming in first as a producer and now as a co-writer.
Is Nihilist Abyss more of a recording project right now or do you have plans to tour?
For the foreseeable future, Nihilist Abyss is a studio project with no plans to tour. Not saying that it couldn’t happen in the future, but it seems unlikely.
What was the recording process like for “Parasite”?
“Parasite” started as a 30 second voice memo that I sang into my phone while I was driving that I forgot about for several months. When I rediscovered it, I was at home with my midi keyboard and laptop already set up and the ideas just poured out into a more or less complete song. I sent a rough draft with just piano and voice over to Nick who fleshed out the rest of the song and the whole thing took only a few days to come together. The guitars were recorded in Nick’s home studio in L.A. and I recorded the vocals in my home over the course of 2 days and then sent it back to Nick for mixing.
What are some of your major influences both musical and otherwise?
Musically, they’re kind of all over the place. I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock because that’s what my parents listened to, and there’s always a little classical music influence from my time in band and choir at school. I think my core influences are the Deftones, A Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails, but over the last few years I’ve really been inspired by artists like Chelsea Wolfe and Health.
This EP started with a lot of political and societal influence and the overall confusion that started bubbling up before and during the pandemic. Most of the songs that I brought to the table with these influences were scrapped, but “The Surge” made the final cut.
Mental health also plays a huge role in influencing my lyrics and sound. I’ve struggled with my own share of depression and anxiety. I also have ADHD and that makes things a challenge a lot too. I had so much time to reflect on myself and my life during lockdown and I really came to terms with the fact that I had been struggling with an eating disorder for almost a decade, as well as trying to rectify some more difficult aspects of my upbringing and the relationship I have with my family. “Parasite” specifically came from examining the strained relationships I have with my relatives.
Is there any way out of the nihilist abyss?
Nihilism itself is the belief that nothing is real and nothing matters in the grand scheme of it all. I think once you realize that we’re all just existing on a floating rock in space, everything else does seem pointless. There’s definitely a strange irony in it all considering how much of my personal life and very real emotions go into the songs. It’s like, “yeah nothing matters and we’re all dying and one day no one will know who I am, but I may as well just write songs and sing my feelings out while I’m here.” I think once you’re in the nihilist abyss, you’re just in. It’s like a real life Matrix red pill.