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Album Reviews : Nemesphyxia – The Calm Before The Carnage

By on March 31, 2009

Bringing together elements of technical and progressive death metal, NSW band Nemesphyxia have released a record that contains a number of interesting and youthful song writing ideas. In fact a youthful innocence might be more accurate for ‘The Calm Before the Carnage’, which for me offered moments of enjoyment, but a general feeling that the album songs could be so much more.

The album begins in interesting fashion, with what essentially is three intro tracks. Spread over only 3 minutes or so, most of this time is spent on the cool guitar based ‘The Calm’. However what irritated me somewhat was the fact that this track was made pointless by the use of 20 second ‘interludes’ containing electronic/industrial samples either side. The only reason I could think of why these samples were included was to relate to the album title – ‘The Calm Before the Carnage’. There also appears two more  similar interludes throughout the album, so credit to the band for sticking with their idea, however it was a down point in the album for me.

It was interesting to note that as the album progressed, the quality of material also progressed. Without doubt I see the best song on the album as track 7 – Pharmaceutical Modification. It’s clear the lead guitarist in the band is a fan of the technical styles, with interesting riffs and solos dispersed throughout the four main tracks on the record. However it is on Pharmaceutical Modification where the entire band shines through with these exciting solos and solid back-up from the rest of the band.

Overall the albums mix is acceptable, with all instruments being distinct enough throughout the album. But the main sticking point is with the poor production, and I’m mainly focussing this critic on the drums. The blast beats contained within most songs work well to given some rhythm and ‘headbangability’ to the music, but the lack of depth on the drums is frustrating. They sound muted, and lack the clarity that makes the lead guitar and vocals stand out among the pack.

This is an album by a young band trying to find their sound. It’s not a stellar record worthy of immense attention, however it’s allowed the band to formulate and experiment with their creative ideas. As long as they can tighten up the production and overall song writing, there could well be some great material to come. 6/10

Band: Nemesphyxia
Album: The Calm Before the Carnage
Year: 2008
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Self Released
Origin: Wagga Wagga, Australia

Track listing:
1. The Calm
2. Slave to Power
3. Cleanse the Fist
4. Pharmaceutical Modification (Reviewer’s Choice)
5. Plaintive Darknes