Kill The Fox To Foil The Plan

Written by: MR on 15/09/2008 16:32:06

Nato is an upcoming act from Great Britain, who play a mix of screamo and metal. We've seen many bands like this rise in recent years and the support for them especially on Myspace is enormous. Just take bands like Blessthefall, Underoath or Saosin and see how many plays they receive on a daily basis. I don't mean to compare Nato to these bands but just to stress the point that growling/screaming vocals and clean pop singing is blending lots these days, much like the case around 1999-2002 where it was rap that was dominating. Nato embraces this trend but they don't in any way put their own twist in it. The formula is simply the same and it's all been heard before. If you like bands like Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon or Hell Is For Heroes, you would actually accuse them for stealing ideas.

If you give Nato a chance you will have to adjust to the voice of singer Jay Norman, 'cause it's not really digestible on a first listen: He has an aggressive but a very slim screaming voice. They should have considered making it a bit more round and warm in the mix somehow, because the sound of his voice when he growls in a deeper range is just better. Just listen to the contrast in the verse of "The Last Goodbye". Guitarist Ben Charles is competent at playing his riffs and he structures his guitar roles in a very impressive manner, but what he doesn't quite manage are the solos mainly on the last songs "I Am Alcatraz" and "Bleed The Mechanisms". Seems to me that he should have spent more time adjusting to the atmosphere of the songs before choosing the sound on which he performs them.

Now, enough of the criticism, because I have a lot of good things to say about this band, in fact. I compared this band with Enter Shikari before, whom they have been supporting on different venues. The difference between them lies in a very vital point: They are better. Just listen to "Red Rose Redemption". The songs are better structured and strictly technically speaking, this band has more talent, this coming from a big Enter Shikari fan. I love the ironic- and party-approach on their songs, but these guys seem like they are playing from the heart. Everything is well thought through and they have a great grip on good melody lines and harmonies created by the drummer and vocalist Norman.

Listen especially to the first three songs of the album. After hearing the chorus for "Kill' Em Dead Cowboy", it was playing in my mind all day long. I don't know if they use protools (a piece of software fixing any glitches in sound), but the harmonies are performed with perfection, hence the suspect. But anyway, who the fuck cares, it sounds awesome.

Overall then, "Kill The Fox To Foil The Plan" has some songs that will stick with me for some time. But there are chances that the songs will blend in with each other because of similar structure. What definitely makes the difference is the strength of the choruses that Ross spits out. These guys are young (4 of the 5 members are still under 20) and I have to take this into my consideration when giving them a final rating. I've come to the conclusion that these guys are very good, and you would be a pessimist to say that they do not have potential. But there are two things that could hinder them from making it big. First off, they need to know which things are solid in their sound, what works and what doesn't. The second thing is how to distinguish them from the already mammoth scene and not just think about them as being part of a trend. As the guys sing "It's Perfect" - well, not quite but they are on their way.


Download: The Last Goodbye, Red Rose Redemption
For the fans of: Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Chiodos
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.10.2008
Rising Records

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