Transporting the listener down into the depths of depressive yet intoxicatingly emotional and epic landscapes, Noetic is a strikingly compelling entrance from US metallers Nethermost. Released via Horror Pain Gore Death, the band’s debut album is like an inventive soul stealing nightmare where you feel you should maybe make a struggle to awaken from but really want to immerse deeper into its pestilential embrace. A thick fusion of melodic death and doom metal, the release simultaneously manages to be a bruising and sonically seductive devourer of the senses. It does not leap out as much as some similarly sculpted releases but definitely lingers for a just as rewarding success.
The successor to the Texas band’s first release, the four-track Alpha, their new album engrosses ears and imagination from start to finish. Admittedly passions ebbed and flowed at times across its nine imposing songs but never rested on less than enthused appetite for the erosive incitements on offer. Mixed and mastered by Marco Santini at Antigravity Studios in London, Noetic needs little time to involve imagination and emotions in its presence, the opening of Matrix Divine a tantalising coaxing of expressive guitar. That lure continues as the song expels a caustic energy and breath, the vocals of John Johnston raw and impassioned making an instant mark whilst the sinew driven beats of Edgar Pinto take a firm hand of the senses. The song is more a smouldering than a fire but with the craft of lead guitarist Cinthya Rocha and rhythm guitarist Waldo Rocha spinning a melodic web within a rugged nest of riffs it never releases its captivating grip.
The strong start moves onto Weald Realms, a similarly structured weave of hostile intensity aligned to persistent grooves and sonic temptation which swiftly draws willing submission with their unrelenting persuasion. The track is a transfixing encounter, the vocal buffeting lying easily with the acidic melodies that vein the almost toxic emprise at work. Thoughts of bands like Daylight Dies and Anathema offer themselves during song and album, but only as flavours in something emerging individual to Nethermost, as shown again with The Void Of Souls. Opening with a sultry groove which would not be out of place in any album from The Mission, the track twists and flirts with an exotic lilt to its melodies, which alone ignites ears, and a prowling intensity to its heart. It is a superb track, a fall through a cavernous yet spellbinding climate into an emotional examination.
The pair of Nous Alliance and Synergos keeps the impressive presence of the album high, if without quite matching their predecessors. The first is a heavier predatory offering but bound in enticing of sonic enterprise and slow searing grooves whilst the second takes the other route with a lighter melodic flaming within imposing shadows. Both though reveal more of the creative tenacity of the band and individuals, the guitars unafraid to make swift turns in their adventurous suasion whilst rhythms equally are able to fluidly switch their attack through the changing terrain of songs. It is only the vocal squalls of Johnston which show little want to expand but to be honest if he did tracks would relinquish their essential ferocity and potency.
If there is any issue to offer up against the album it is the familiarity between some of the melodic and sonic designs, Arcanum coming straight after Synergos and without attention the two merge together with little notice. It is not a major issue here, such the impressive nature of those tracks, but ahead there is hope for stronger distinction between songs. The muscular stroll of Sphere Caliginous ensures it does immediately leap out from the previous encounter, riffs and rhythms laying down a ravenous and intimidating scene for the guitars to colour with their ever provocative hues.
The short and outstanding instrument I Envision seduces ears and imagination next, its gentle stroll basking in the enterprising scenery and beauty of guitar strings and keys. Thoroughly mesmeric, the piece makes way for Order Of Mithra to bring the album to a fine end. Managing to be the most malevolent proposition on Noetic but holding a flaming melodic radiance, the track ensures ears and thoughts leave the album heavily drenched in the creative invention and immersive atmosphere which makes the band’s debut very easy to enthusiastically recommend. There is still plenty of potential within Nethermost which you feel is still to be unleashed and listening to the quality of Noetic that is an exciting thought for sure.
Noetic is available now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions now @ http://netherdoom.bandcamp.com/album/noetic
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