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Album Reviews : Netherealm – As We Reign

By on October 18, 2010

Barrelling out of the gates at blinding speed with “The Creators”, the debut release from Wodonga-based Netherealm shows a band who, despite needing to develop a bit more individuality (which, let’s face it, is bound to be an issue with a debut release from a band less than three years old), are bound to be well-loved by fans of straight-forward aggressive metal.

With a foundation clearly based on the likes of Kreator and Slayer, splattered with melodic death metal, As We Reign doesn’t stray a step from the classic metal basics, but the well-balanced pace and consistent writing results in a very solid nineteen minutes. The opening two tracks stick closely to that aforementioned style, while the slower pace and great use of deeper vocals in “War in Heaven” brings in an unexpected touch of Amon Amarth. And while closer “Fields of Death” leans a bit too much towards modern ‘tough guy’ metal for my liking, it’s no lesser a track.

Vocalist Ben Quin has some serious power with his deeper growls sounding like a rougher version of Impious’ Martin Åkesson, while his higher vocals mosey between classic thrash screams and less impressive yells that unfittingly sneak into hardcore territory. The musicianship here is solid, with technicality not really being an aim, and the overall sound benefits from a decent, chunky mix. Drummer Jared Roberts should certainly be happy with his first attempt at production.

With a few more years to develop their sound and shove their influences into their back pocket rather than on their sleeves, the next Netherealm release is going to be a good’un.

Band: Netherealm
Album: As We Reign EP
Year: 2010
Genre: Thrash/Death
Origin: Victoria, Australia
Label: Independent

Track listing:
1. The Creators
2. Exact Vengeance <- Reviewers choice
3. War in Heaven
4. Fields of Death


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.