Even the most battle hardened grind fan might burst into cold sweats during listening of Time To Panic, the new album from Canadian sonic assassins Nervous Impulse, but equally they will bask in the rewards of one hellacious and viciously compelling treat. The fifteen track fury is pure aural violence yet has an addictive character and contagious underbelly which lures you back time and time again into its excruciating bedlam. It has few charms to lure anyone with passions lying outside of death grind it is fair to say but for those with the right appetite, band and album are destructive manna.
Formed in 2007 by drummer Yan Chamberland (ex-Empathy Denied/Obscene Crisis), Nervous Impulse was soon stirring up sweat and tears with their ferocious sounds and debut album Enough for Dementia in 2009. With a line-up completed by vocalist Eric Fiset (ex-Empathy Denied/Obscene Crisis) , and guitarists Robert Guimond and Vincent Malo, the Montreal band swiftly drew potent and praising attention with the release. On its inception Chamberland had a clear vision of the band’s intent, “to produce the most insane and destructive musical achievement he could ever imagine in his extreme musical mind.” Enough for Dementia successfully went a long way to achieving the aim though hindsight now shows it was merely a starting point for greater hostilities. Live too the band left no one standing without support, bringing fans to their knees and bliss with shows which probably should have carried a health warning, much like Time To Panic. Line-up changes saw bassist Felix Bourcher and guitarist Bruno Mercier join the band before in 2013 Nervous Impulse signed with Nova Scotia based label Blast Head Records who now uncage their latest pestilential treat.
Recorded again with Hugues Deslauriers, who worked on their debut, Time To Panic opens with the bedlamic Intro before tearing out senses and psyche with Oil Spills. A battery of riffs and beats pummel from the first breath whilst vocals are a tirade of squalling rage. Whatever they are venting about who knows but there is no escaping their malice and rancor even within the strenuous winds of the sonic tempest. It is not all sheer violence though as grooves come with a virulent contagion and rhythms despite their insidious nature, are instinctively anthemic. The track is simultaneously insufferable and infectious just as the following Prorogued Democracy, an even more brutal and noxious confrontation. Gutturally swinish vocally and with an inhumane swagger, the track lurches with addictive magnetism as it tears the senses asunder with rapier swings of the drums and violates with carnal grooves amidst searing sonic enterprise. There is no sense, as across the whole album, of what is coming next or from what direction but whilst whimpering in sore bliss, the hunger for more overrides the suffering.
Both the visceral carnage of Syrian NATO Meat Grinder and the toxic antagonism of Wing Clipper keep ears and imagination enthralled, both with individual characters working from a similar template, as most songs to be honest. They are soon spreading unique infestations of sonic abuse and rhythmic vehemence deep into the psyche, the latter of the pair developing a delicious bestial groove from which a melodically cast antipathy squirms whilst inviting richer involvement from its victim.
The insidious enthralling reflections of Nostalgic Memories, a track with more twists then a nightmare of slinkies, sets down a new plateau for the album. It is a web of varied vocal expulsions and tantalising grooves relentlessly bewitching the senses whilst the album’s following brief title track is sheer pain, and totally ravenous much as 9 Meals to Anarchy-Riot Solves Everything which follows and My Right to Medicate straight after. The first of the pair savages with drooling riffs and covetous grooved intent, every second and grunt an iniquitous temptation whilst the second is smog of evil and corrosive tenacity. For every tsunami of malignant noise upon the album though there is a whirlpool of fascinating invention and unpredictability, stronger in some than others but always working away seducing as impressively here or again in the barbaric onslaught of Eclipse of Personality with its rhythmic enterprise and predatory imagination.
As the heavy-duty malefactions of the deceptively catchy Overwhelming Positive Vibe, the aurally fearsome The Last Call, and the punk brawling of The Neighbor’s House Is on Fire come and go, thoughts and emotions continue to be buffeted and incited, the middle of the three especially gripping with its excellent bass endeavour. The final one of the trio is a hardcore/grind bred fest of hate and bad blood offering more diversity to the enmity of the album.
Completed by the excellent Dead Jeremians 2014 with its blood soaked twang and a fine cover of Vexed from Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Time to Panic is grind at its insatiable and creative best, and certainly in its most addictive form. Technically too, and at times hidden by the sheer erosive turbulence cast in songs, the band is a striking and impressive proposition. It is easy to understand the buzz around Nervous Impulse listening to their second album, but not so easy to remove the ringing in the ears and the bad dreams it inspires.
Time to Panic is available now via Blast Head Records @ http://blastheadrecords.bandcamp.com/album/time-to-panic and http://nervousimpulse.bigcartel.com/product/nervous-impulse-time-to-panic
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