The Nemesis Theory
posted on 5/2007 By:
So here we have what I believe is the second full length release from a Seattle act called The Nemesis Theory. This quartet plays an interesting, if not entirely metal-oriented, blend of jarring post-hardcore structures and transcendent melody. Though their pretentious air might put some listeners off, those with a taste for this style and some tolerance for artsy bluster will find outstanding individual performances and some passionate songwriting on Hypnopaedia.
Now, I generally hate to belabor aesthetics and lyrics amongst metal or hardcore bands of any kind, but these guys have honestly managed to irritate me. From their predictably quirky song titles (“Enron Hubbard,” which is admittedly pretty funny) to their website’s proud declaration of the band’s college experience to their prolix, ambiguously anti-capitalist lyrics, The Nemesis Theory seem almost embarrassingly self-conscious about their attempted ‘art rock’ status. Fortunately, these irritating details are outshone by an impressive array of aggressive but catchy songs. The tracks are built on nervous, punchy These Arms Are Snakes-type rhythms and topped off with desperately melodic guitar work that combines the confessional honesty of Envy with the frantic complexity of British late greats Beecher. The bass work here is especially impressive; I don’t know this guy’s name, but his bass lines are just as rhythmically nuanced as the guitar work while retaining a powerful bond with the drummer’s rolling, chaotic grooves. The vocals are a mite too catty and nasal for my tastes but they manage to substitute a sort of delirious singing for the expected ranting screech.
Though I can’t advocate this band to the majority of Metal Review’s readership, I think there is certainly a niche audience out there who will dig this band….assuming they can get past the faintly ridiculous pretensions to intellectual import. Good—but hardly great—songwriting shows solid potential for improvement for The Nemesis Theory, but these guys need to ramp it up a lot to achieve real memorability.
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