posted on 11/2009 By:
That Nervecell is a Middle Eastern metal band shapes not only the story of the group itself but the stories it has to tell. With song titles like “For Every Victim Fallen,” “Existence Ceased” and “Vicious Circle of Bloodshed,” you can probably figure out pretty quickly that these guys aren’t singing about healthcare reform. It’s too bad the subject matter is the one thing that stands out the most about Nervecell's debut, Preaching Venom.
Using the “we’re a metal band in Dubai, guys!” pitch is an attention-getter, but eventually people are going to listen to your music. Unfortunately, the group plays a middling and modern form of death/thrash, made complete by a pristine but lifeless production. When the first listen is the best listen, it’s probably not a good sign. Preaching Venom is no different. Not to say that this is an altogether boring album, because god knows we’ve all been missing another death/thrash hybrid with breakdowns in our lives, but there’s very little hook here.
The more interesting moments are the slower ones, when Nervecell lets a little atmosphere seep into the mix. And so it figures that the one song where the band has nothing to say, the instrumental “Ratios,” is the more dynamic one on the album. With an engrossing melody, a plethora of killer solos and an addictive punch, “Ratios” is a tease, the lone six minutes where we’re not left wishing we were listening to something else instead. Side note: The solos on this album as a whole are just insanely tasty.
Preaching Venom is a quick rush. It’s a play in the car when you’re going really freaking fast on the freeway kind of listen. In fact, songs like “Vastlands of Abomination” and the aforementioned “For Every Victim Fallen” would be perfect in that context, so feel free to buy those individually and blast the hell out of them like I did in my aging Civic. Alas, showing promise is good enough to keep us interested in the next album, but not enough to earn our cash at a time when wallets are thinning and there are releases with greater replay value out there.
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