Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow
posted on 5/2011 By:
With an album title like Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow, one might get the impression that France’s 7th Nemesis has pretensions toward something… pretentious. Song lengths that stretch from five to fourteen minutes give further credence to the assumption that 7th Nemesis has delusions of progressive grandeur. The fact is that Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow is a fairly straightforward record that, though it flirts with other genres, is for the most part death metal.
In 7th Nemesis’s favor, the band is not riding the old-school death metal bandwagon, or at least not the same one that everyone else is on. The band frequently employs rigid, blocky, riffs that harken back to the industrial and groove metal of the Nineties, but without the sonic manipulation, and bereft of any sort of crass, “jump-da-fuck-up” machismo. The result is a cold, mechanical sound that is at once futuristic and familiar.
7th Nemesis gets the album off to a good start with Distorted Mass “(of Unformed Matter).” The track builds to a nice crescendo before kicking in to a chunky, stuttering riff, although the generic, metalcore-ish vocals dampen the excitement somewhat. A few more decent riffs keep the song afloat for a time, but a lengthy interlude featuring a George Carlin rant on religion scuttles the track well before its conclusion ten minutes later. Unfortunately, I cannot award 7th Nemesis any points for having good taste in comedians. The fourteen-minute album closer “Ashes of a New Era” is also over-long, being bloated with about five minutes of atmospheric bullshit. Yet, surprisingly, this track almost works. About nine minutes in, the aforementioned atmospheric bullshit resolves back into actual music over which Peter Fynch’s famous monologue from the 1976 film Network is played. As the intensity of this diatribe against a world gone mad increases, so does the music, until it climaxes in an apocalyptic disco-death march reminiscent of Ministry.
The middle of the album is comprised of songs that are comparatively leaner and more concise, but at five to six minutes apiece, there is still plenty of musical ground to cover. 7th Nemesis is equal to the task, packing the songs with a multitude of riffs and tempo changes, lead work that runs the gamut from traditional solos to electronic bleeps and squeals, and the occasional dash of synthesizer for color as well. Despite all the bells and whistles, however, 7th Nemesis returns all too often to a simplistic chug and growl style that keeps the band's music squarely in the middle of the pack. Like a DeLorean, Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow looks flashy and futuristic, but sadly, under the hood there is only a V-6 engine putting out a modest 130 horsepower.
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