Beta, Copenhagen, DEN - 27/2
Written by: MST on 23/05/2011 14:02:47
It has become somewhat of a habit for my reviews to start by saying that I disagree with Rockfreaks.net's rating of the previous album by the band in question. Such is the case again with UAE-based death metal act Nervecell, who return in 2011 with "Psychogenocide", the follow-up to the band's debut album "Preaching Venom" which received a mediocre grade from Rockfreaks that I do not agree with. The band's modern take on old-school death metal was refreshing, exciting and thoroughly satisfying in 2009, and they'd have to do something terribly wrong to disappoint in 2011.
There are many ways to play death metal nowadays, but Nervecell stick to their roots. The drums blast away at times, but speed is generally not used as a means to sound brutal. In fact, brutality isn't even the goal here. Though this is death metal and therefore scares away anyone not already familiar with the genre, Nervecell take a very melodic approach to their music. There's always room for melodic riffs, solos and tempo changes, things which make the album ever-enjoyable, but even though the music is somewhat melodic, there is never any doubt that this is death metal - not melodic death metal. The growled vocals are understandable throughout most of the album, revealing intelligent lyrics that heighten the album even further. Most of the songs have sing-along (or rather what you'd see me doing at a gig, growl-along) friendly choruses, whether it's the simple chorus of "Imprint" in which the title is the only word being said, or the melodic chorus of "All Eyes On Them" that reads: "My Voice… / My Voice against your lies / You brought this genocide / We will not abide / This is our voice… Arise".
Throughout the album, the listener is constantly entertained. Although most of the album continues in the same vein, no song sounds like any of the others. If the variations in tempo, melody, sudden interludes and instrumental parts that make you want to headband your brains out aren't enough for you, fret not, for salvation is here. Enter "Shunq (To The Despaired... King Of Darkness)", a track that will make any Morbid Angel or Nile fan wet themselves. The music changes back and forth between melodic guitar-orgasms and heavy death metal sections with a guitar riff reminiscent of those found on Morbid Angel's "Gateways To Annihilation" album (I'm thinking "Summoning Redemption"). And as if that wasn't enough, Karl Sanders of Nile swoops in as guest vocalist while Nervecell singer Rajeh Khazaal sings his lyrics in Arabian.
I started this review by saying that I think Nervecell's debut album was good. But after this beast of an album, "Preaching Venom" will always be that first album that they made before this one. "Psychogenocide" has exceeded all of my expectations, and as I listen to album closer "Nation's Plague" whilst finishing this review, I wish that I didn't have to leave this album behind to review a new one. Nervecell have written a brilliant album that will definitely end up on my list of the best records of 2011.
Download: All Eyes On Them, Imprint, Shunq (To The Despaired... King Of Darkness)
For The Fans Of: Morbid Angel, Kataklysm, Nile, Bolt Thrower
Release date 02.05.2011