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Album Reviews : Nemesium – Sentient Cognizance

By on September 7, 2015

19584_958547707511513_2767724896544779357_nFans of Morbid Angel, Death and early Lamb of God take note!

Nemesium, an extreme metal quintet hailing from the city on Port Philip Bay that isn’t Melbourne (Geelong), are one of the many Australian bands out to represent the supreme diversity and grit of extreme metal, and with their debut release, Sentient Cognizance, they have certainly brought to the table some bloody tasty cuts.

The EP opens with ‘The Foreshadowing’ (a fitting song title for an opening track) which introduces the listener to Nemesium’s brutal approach to technical death metal. Vocalist Clint Williams growls his way through this slow burner of a song, supported by the impressive dual guitar work of Chris McEwin and Andrew Reid that would impress the likes of Lamb of God’s Mark Morton and Willie Adler. Speaking of Lamb of God, ‘The Foreshadowing’’s build-up evokes a similar feeling to ‘Walk With Me in Hell’, Sacrament’s epic opener, and that is no small feat.

‘Annihilation Prophecy’ (song #2) shows off the band’s love of extreme metal progenitors Slayer and Death through the thrashy, cut-throat guitars and vocals that evoke an admiration for the late Death front man, Chuck Schuldiner. The song continues Nemesium’s respect towards death metal’s roots while also adding their own modern flavour to the genre, while also suggesting an appreciation for groove metal courtesy of the similarities to Lamb of God.

The EP moves on to ‘Telexistence’, another track showcasing McEwin and Reid’s impressive guitar work, while also leaving time for bassist Luke Lawless and drummer Justin Rhodes to shine. While there is a slight touch of calmer guitar in the middle section of the song, ‘Telexistence’, like the two preceding songs, keeps the furious tempo rolling, and maintains Nemesium’s simple, yet consistent approach to extreme metal.

The EP’s final original track, ‘Devoid of Life’, slows down the tempo briefly to allow the listener to breathe (much like Slayer and Morbid Angel have done in the past), before exploding into the familiar assault of guitars and growled vocals that have effectively served as the EP’s cerebrum. Another fine cut of death metal from this finely cut slab of death.

The final track sees Nemesium cover a track (‘Open Arms’) from cult Ballarat deathgrind act Damaged, who supported bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Entombed and Sepultura back in the 90’s. Nemesium not only do the track justice but, aided by improved production, bring out, to greater effect, the ferocity and macabre atmosphere of the track.

Overall, Sentient Cognizance is an impressive debut release from Nemesium, with every track melding together to create an essential slab of death metal for fans of Australia’s vast underground death metal scene. In speaking of the members themselves, Clint Williams’ Randy Blythe-meets-Chuck Schuldiner vocals provide a fitting death-defying landscape for the EP, while the dual guitars of Chris McEwin and Andrew Reid combined with the rhythm section of Justin Rhodes and Luke Lawless create a mind-blowingly brutal atmosphere that is synonymous with death metal. Metalcore may be the defining genre of Australian metal internationally for now, but if more Aussie death metal acts like Nemesium follow King Parrot’s (who Nemesium recently opened for at the band’s Geelong gig) lead, Australian metal’s reception worldwide is set to have some diversity injected into the mix.


Sam hails from Bathurst,a regional city 3 hours west of Sydney,Australia and home to the ultimate petrolhead monolith, Mt Panorama. Sam, however, is fuelled by his love of metal and became a fully fledged metal convert in his late teens through the teachings of Slayer, Korn, Tool, Faith No More and many others. Now on the other side of 20, Sam has almost completed a journalism degree and intends to move to Melbourne in the very near future.