Review – Nervecell: Preaching Venom

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Review – Nervecell: Preaching Venom
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Nervecell: Preaching Venom
Death Metal, Metalcore, Thrash Metal
Lifeforce Records, Music Master
April 1st, 2008
Release length: 45:19
Myspace
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Nervecell is one of those impressive Death and Thrash Metal acts that will also boggle your mind with some of the antics they do in their music. There are plenty of moments on their debut full-length, Preaching Venom, that appear to have gone overlooked by the Metal “elite” that would often infuriate the living hell out of them, as well as lead normal listeners just scratching their heads. Whether these elements were put into the music on a serious note, or sarcastically (and judging by some promotional photos, there’s a good indication it’s more out of sarcasm), there’s no denying that Preaching Venom is a solid combination of two great style of Metal, and done very well at the more Death Metal end of the spectrum.

“As They Reign & Slither” kicks the album off as a guitar instrumental track that can give off the feeling of paranoia, or even that of spiders coming down from their web. It works well to go with it’s title but doesn’t really do much to set up the album, as this would best be suited for a Black Metal release then what Nervecell have in store for their listeners here. Aside that, the album is balanced between hard hitting Death Metal oriented music, such as “Vicious Circle of Bloodshed” and “Demean”, to a much more lighter, sometimes unimpressive Thrash meets Melodic Death Metal sound, such as on “Beyond Our Sins”. The track “Vastlands of Abomination” is another great track on here with some haunting guitar chords that have a slight Nile feel to them thanks to a rather Egyptian sound and echo used, and has a rather catchy Groove feel to the guitars for the song’s verses. This isn’t the only time that you will be reminded of Nile, however, as you can hear it in the vocals during the song “Flesh & Memories”, but neither of these hurt the album in any way and are really just aspects that fans of Death Metal will pick up on as they go through the album.

Of course, there are some moments of the band that can almost seem like some sort of joke. On the track “Flesh & Memories”, out of nowhere the song jerks to a straightforward Metalcore sounding breakdown, as well as what sounds like a breakdown during “Vicious Circle of Bloodshed”, but it works with the song, unlike the one found in “Flesh & Memories”. Aside that, you also have the track “For Every Victim Fallen”, which has a very out of place guitar solo that sounds more like it would be on, again, a very self empowering Metalcore release. These are really the only two times that the Metalcore influence seems to show, but sometimes in the guitar work you can hear material that can be questionable, such as some of the riffs on “Beyound Our Sins”. There are also moments in the music where it just feels a bit hollow, as well as with the vocals. Vocally, the song “Flesh & Memories” feels a little week, sadly, and there are a few other moments scattered about where the vocals just seem a bit bland compared to the music, but that’s mostly thanks to some rather bland music. “Beyound Our Sins”, as stated, does sound rather weak, and then there’s “Ratios” which varies between being rather impressive musically, especially for the guitar solo, and having moments that feel hollow like during the build to that song’s solo.

With the music having a hollow sound sometimes, or just not being all that impressive, the vocals do seem to run the gambit as well. As stated, the vocals can sometimes sound rather weak, yes, but sometimes there’s more to the vocals then just a deep gutteral style. During some songs you can also pick up on a second style that appears in the background, sometimes backing up the gutteral, or bridging one line of growls to another. The second style is more of a rhaspier, Black Metal type of voice, and it does work well with the album, even though it seems to just appear randomly throughout and at a much lower volume level then it should be. It would have been nice to have that secondary vocalist podded up a bit more to add a little more bite to the music.

When all is said and done, Preaching Venom is a decent debut album, but could be much better. There really isn’t anything all too much to brag about, but the band does a good job at the harder, more Death Metal oriented tracks then anything else on here. Hopefully Nervecell will leave the Metalcore influence at home on their next outing. This isn’t really a must have album, but if you like the speed and intensity the Thrash riffs can give you, and the anger of Death Metal mixed together, there’s a good amount of songs on here that will have you coming back, but due to a lack of anything jaw dropping, there’s really not much to have you coming back to it after a good couple of spins outside of random listens on a rainy day.


01. As They Reign & Slither – 1:32
02. Vicious Circle of Bloodshed – 4:18
03. Flesh & Memories – 4:45
04. For Every Victim Fallen – 4:34
05. Beyond Our Sins – 4:42
06. Haute Monde Facade – 4:57
07. Ratios – 6:22
08. Demean – 3:51
09. Vastlands of Abomination – 4:12
10. Existence Ceased – 6:06
Overall Score: 5/10
Nervecell
Nervecell


Digital review copy of this release provided by Lifeforce Records.