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nothing,nowhere Plays To His Strengths After Going Independent With ‘Dark Magic’ (Review) 8
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nothing,nowhere Plays To His Strengths After Going Independent With ‘Dark Magic’ (Review)

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Vermont-based alternative rapper nothing,nowhere. has dropped his sixth full-length record, titled ‘Dark Magic’. This is his first independent record since his debut record in 2015; he was most recently on Fueled By Ramen from 2018-2023. It’s also following 2023’s ‘Void Eternal’, which had more of a metal influence. This record explores some light familiar lyrical themes such as depression and anxiety, as well as more diving into his experience in the industry and with labels for the past few years. The overall sound dives into everything nothing,nowhere. has experimented with his whole career, and more. 

The record opens with “Shadow Craft”, which is a short and sweet song diving into his older kind of sound where he’s just spitting right off the bat. It gives off a real good impression of what to expect with this album, as his delivery in the lyrics feels so confident and brag-infused but in a great way. We follow with the title track, and it starts off where the last song ended in news reports warning people of the ‘cult of the reaper’. I appreciate this trend that feels overarching on this record, letting people know exactly who the fuck he is. This track dives back into the alternative rap people know him mainly for, a side of him I missed on the last record a little. Shoutout to the lyric, “you were the angel, I was the entity from hell”…what a hard line right there. We jump into the next track “Bad Luck”, which is comprised of simple but effective beats that really compliment the song well. Joe sounds great here particularly, and I admire him as a vocalist that he’s explored many different genres. The reaper is back in full effect. It’s followed up with “OKOK”, and this one gives off more ‘Trauma Factory’ vibes right off the bat. The autotune is shown off here quite a bit and it works for this kind of song even if it’s more of a simpler one. The goat noises at the end are wild to add to this record too. It’s then to the next track with “Tunechi”, which lyrically dives into the main theme of the record which is essentially “fuck the music industry” and he lays it all out here. He shows that he’s still got it on this track, keeping haters quiet especially with the line “I still body every single genre, and I can tour with any band that I wanna”. Truly some ‘ruiner’ vibes on this one and I’m here for it. We end the first third of this record with a trap inspired song, in “Witch Hunter”. I like the beat on this track, it really feels like Joe is going truly wild on here. The vocals at the end feel more on the aggressive side, and that kind of raw energy is always welcome on his discography in general. 

We’re onto the next part of the album, starting off with “REAPER RAP”. It definitely follows and keeps up the energy of the last song, and he’s out here ending careers with lyrics like these. It’s bar after bar and it feels good him showing himself off like this, now that’s what I call dark magic. We’re followed by “REAPER GANG”, which features more melodic vocals from Joe and it’s a nice taste after the last song. I just love the energy being shown off on this record, it’s something he does incredibly well. And it’s refreshing to see him being as honest about his time on a label. We then reach possibly my favorite track off the record, with “Doomsday”. This one also has some real ‘ruiner’ vibes and has a great chorus, the vibe on this one I’m just such a sucker for and it’s already got great replay value to it. We’re continuing the vibe in the next track, with “No Emotion”. The drums here are a nice touch to add to a song like this, particularly the chorus which is hitting once again. I can totally see this track and the one previous to go over well live, and these both feel like real highlights off this whole record. Also massive shoutout to the line, “these artists ain’t built like me. I spit a verse, make a rack, then go tap my trees”. Joe is out here living his best life and letting everyone know just how fucking good he is. It’s then continued on with “WTF (am I doing with my life)”, which has a very classic n,n. chorus and feel to it. I appreciate a little guitar part to loop during the whole song, it captures his aesthetic well. It flows really nicely like the records I heard from him when I was still in college, playing Super Mario 3 and it just reminds me of that. We end the second third of this record with “1500 Freestyle”, and the flow continues so well. The line “all I did was rap about how much I wanna die, now I’m at the dealership debating what I wanna buy” just shows how far Joe has come not only as an artist, but as a person in reflecting on his career and himself. I also love the falsetto leading into a pretty cool guitar part to outro the song. 

We’ve reached the final third of the album, the final stretch if you will starting with “Pity Party”. This one has some real ‘Reaper’ vibes all over it, I love this vibe of his music dearly to where it gives me a real sense of nostalgia but for his specific type of music. Also the line “it’s a nothing, nowhere type of night” is only something he can get away with. We pick it back up with a more full-band based track, with “Haunted Home”. This track out of any other track on here feels the most like last year’s ‘Void Eternal’. The production here feels more raw for some reason, like static-like in spots and I do wish it wasn’t as apparent in the chorus but I still appreciate the effect. We’re onto one of the easy highlights off the record, with “Beige”. It starts off having some ‘Trauma Factory’ vibes, and then goes into a full on pop-punk track. It shocked me since I can’t remember if nothing,nowhere. ever had a song like this, and he did an EP with Travis Barker. But he absolutely kills it on this track, the chorus is huge and he uses his impressive vocal range to the best of his ability here. The verses feel very Blink-182 influenced with a punk beat and the melodies are off the charts. He really did mean it when he said he can body any genre. We’re then on the other side of him in a shorter song like “XXX”. We’re back to more of a trap beat where he’s going off once again, and then leads into a breakdown. And the fact he drops an Oppenheimer quote and a growl before it drops is insane. I appreciate he’s showcasing every side of him on this record now that he’s independent again. We’ve reached the penultimate track with “Drain Touch”, which continues on some more ‘Trauma Factory’ vibes capturing the energy of a song like “pain place” or “upside down”. It’s just a pleasing track to listen to, and the chorus is an easy highlight out of all of them. The record concludes with an incredibly solid closer, with “lovelylittlehell”. It’s got a good chorus and feels pretty fitting for a closer to this record. A line such as “it is what it is, and fuck what it isn’t” is such a good line to capture themes for this record. There’s a video game sort of effect during the chorus, which I appreciate so much since it adds nicely to the track. 

I think nothing, nowhere has added a worthy record to his discography with ‘Dark Magic’. It feels like him unfiltered and captures a lot of the different eras he’s had over the past near decade. I’m sure fans of his would be very pleased and welcome to this record, and more to come within the year I’m sure since this is just a taste. This record is a testament to show that artists out there can do whatever they want musically and still sound cohesive overall. I truly think nothing,nowhere. is one of a kind and no one does it like him. 

FINAL RATING

8.0

VERDICT8.0
Reader Rating: ( 2 votes ) 10

Mathew Abraham I love movies just as much as I love music.

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