LABEL: Grom Records
AUTHOR: Matthew McCune
Ah, melodic death metal. You know, you’re the comfort in my life that I can always look to whenever I’ve had a bad day. We all have our vices. Some people are cool and ride motorcycles and drink expensive whiskeys (never together, drink responsibly). But not me. I always find myself reaching for my dusty copy of “Slaughter Of The Soul” or “Wages Of Sin” for my little fix. Well, my dear reader, I am proud to say that there is a new album to add to my addictive record shelf, the new album “Embrace Reality” by the Serbian ass-kickers NEMESIS.
Formed in the aforementioned Serbia in 2013, NEMESIS is comprised of the brutal Sanja Drča on vocals, Aleksandra Petrović ripping souls on lead guitar, Tijana Milivojević chugging the chuggiest riffs on rhythm guitar, Biljana Sovilj offering the collective corrupted soul on bass, and the bloody heartbeat of Selena Simić on drums. Being that “Embrace Reality” is the band’s sophomore release, I expect whoever is reading this review to seek out their debut “The War is On” from 2020 in order to get a feel for the band’s unique sense of melodic death metal, which features an emphasis on the brutality over the frills which sometimes plague the genre.
Accessibility is key when it comes to any type of metal release. You might want to slowly inch your friends into this wild, wonderful and often expensive hobby that we affectionally call heavy metal. NEMESIS, while certainly not suitable for your grandmother who has heart problems and a fear of loud noises, will not scare away those who want to dip their toes into the more distorted and nerdier cousin of classical music.
Each track on the album features its own unique sensibility. The hallmarks of the genre are all there; the syncopated kick drums drilling rhythmic precision into your heart, as is most evident on “Circle Of Death”, the leads which send you into manic frenzy, such as the ones featured on “Burn”, and stunning and ethereal guitar solos, like the beautiful wailing on “Here To Stay”. But what stands out to me the most is the absolute consistency showcased here. There is not a single track on this album that you can comfortably skip. They’re all interesting enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, while also offering a cohesive listening experience.
Every track on this album presents itself with professionalism and passion, but the track that stands out the most to me is “Hades”. Much like the mythological monarch of the underworld that the title is alluding to, this composition continues to tempt the audience with a good time. The cocktail of melodic treats with a healthy dose of progressive influences and delectable death metal undertones, your repeat button on whatever platform you use to listen to this album will be used to its fullest.
The opening track to this album is appropriately titled “New Babylon” which could not be a more perfect summation of the listening experience. A new experience from a fresh band that mixes antiquity with hedonism in such a stunning way. This is the future of metal my friends. Go check it out.