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Nemesea: The Quiet Resistance
The blend of pop and metal is not a new thing, and it is not necessarily a bad thing either, and acts like Engel, Amaranthe and, to some extent, Evanescence, have made some pretty good pop-infused metal releases, in my opinion. But it can also go terribly wrong as with Dead By April whose music, I must say, I cannot stand. Nemesea's goth-tinted The Quiet Resistance is another addition to the corpus of modern pop metal and, while nowhere near as disastrous as many other releases in the same genre, it does not impress me as much as the latest releases by Amaranthe or Engel did.
Good things first, I really like Manda Ophius' voice, especially when she belts out the powerful and catchy vocals of which there are so many on this release (I definitely prefer her vocals to the male vocals that also pop up every now and then on the album), and I also quite appreciate the overall catchiness of the album in general. While the rhythm guitar is often limited to simple power chord progressions and simple, but effective, riffage, it works in relation to the overall sound of the album and its formulaic nature. Even some of the pop elements appeal to me, especially those that have the same sort of atmosphere to them as dark pop acts like Depeche Mode. So, yes, there are definitely a lot of things to appreciate on this album, and the overall atmosphere dark and haunting, which I consider a positive attribute.
That being said, the album does not strike me as being terribly original and, although this is not a problem as such, there are many stock nu metal elements on it, such as a scratching DJ in tracks like 'Say' and 'It's Over' (no rap, though), which can be somewhat of a turn-off to some. Some of the vocal melodies also sound very inspired by the likes of Nickelback and Evanescence. Also, while some of the pop elements are appealing to me, most of them strike me as being very cheesy, the most unforgivable thing being the use of vocoder effects in 'It's Over' which is something I associate with the contentless and uninteresting, talentless and mindnumbing commercial pop music that is so popular among the identity-less and mindless masses these days (let's face it, only Cynic could get away with using vocoders in rock music).
So, there definitely are some quality aspects to this release (especially the vocals), and although I do not really like its pop side, I am sure that fans of nu metal, gothic metal and modern pop metal will really enjoy listening to The Quiet Resistance.
1. The Quiet Resistance
2. Caught In The Middle
5. If You Could
6. High Enough
8. It's Over
9. I Live
10. Stay With Me
12. Release Me
Added: December 7th 2011
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Nemesea official website
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|Nemesea: The Quiet Resistance
Posted by Simon Bray, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-12-07 08:24:31
As a long time follower of Nemesea I am pleased to see the band finally on a decent record label (Austria's Napalm Records) and also please to find that they've finally made an album which, with a fair wind could see them make waves in the public consciousness. I first took hold of The Quiet Resistance during the week when Evanescence returned to the top of the charts worldwide. There's no doubting that Nemesea are fairly similar to Amy Lee's mob although I'd argue that they aren't quite as poppy although I could see Say, It's Over or High Enough in rotation on the metal television channels.
I can certainly see how some may class this album as modern rock which generally turns me off big style but I think they retain enough gothic-infused elements to be of interest.
|Nemesea: The Quiet Resistance
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-11-20 01:18:20
I am always on the look – out for new talent from Napalm Records, home of some of my favorite metal bands, Edenbridge, Stream of Passion, and Visions of Atlantis. Well, few have measured up to those heights, until now that is. Manda Ophuis and guitarist Hendrik Jan (HJ) de Jong have an excellent powerhouse with this Dutch band, with two previous album releases before "The Quiet Resistance".
Nemesea was founded in 2002 by vocalist Manda Ophuis and guitarist Hendrik Jan (HJ) de Jong. The band includes Sonny Onderwater on bass; Frank van der Star on drums; and Lasse Dellbrugge on keyboards.
This band is confident enough to include additional musicians and vocalist, including Charlotte Wessels, from Delain, on "High Enough", but there are enough hits and talent on this album to share…for sure.
After an eerie opening with the title track, the album blast off with one of its best tracks, "Caught in the Middle", and the power never lets up. "Afterlife" is another excellent powerhouse track full of great guitar, drums, and keyboards which balance out the sound so well. These two tracks are worth the price of admission alone. But wait, oh yeah, there's much more!
"Whenever", has a slow start, but don't be fooled. It's a perfect moment for Ophuis to accentuate her vocals and draw you in before blasting perfectly. She has power in more of the mid – range, providing a contrast between many of the sopranos in the Napalm stable of female vocalists. This is a very good rocker/ballad combo. The keys and lifting guitars with power chord bass and drums will just blow you away.
"If You Could" provides another excellent opportunity for Ophuis to steel your ears and make you want to hear so much more. This ballad would be an excellent AOR single. It is an amazing showcase for Ophuis, and will convince you that she is one of the best female vocalists out there…if you haven't been convinced with the first four songs already.
"High Enough" is placed right after that Ophuis showcase. There may have been a good reason. But Ophuis and Wessels make a perfect match. I wish more of Napalm's stable of female vocalists would follow suit. I can think of so many matches…but that's another story…for another time. This duet is just excellent. As a Delain fan, it's a match made in heaven for the ears!
"Say" is another excellent song full of fantastic dreamy keyboard sequences mixed well with pounding drums, deep bass, grinding and sizzling guitar. Yeah, "Say it like it is…say it like you mean it!" Need I say more!
Just passed the half-way point of the album, and already there are enough hits for most albums. Why change up the lead vocals, for track eight, when Ophuis is doing so well? On "It's Over", Marcus Klavan takes over the lead vocals, but wait, Ophuis will soon join him to keep the consistency. Matt Litwin, of the band Bulletproof Messenger, mans the turntables to provide a modern sound to the album. More power in eight tracks than most albums I've heard this year.
"I Live" is another wonderful ballad showcase for Ophuis' beautiful voice, supported well with piano and keys, smashing drums, deep bass, and weaving electric guitars.
"Stay With Me" is yet another Ophuis showcase, this time filled with excellent orchestration, epic keys, synth sounds, and overwhelming drums.
"Rush" opens with cool slicing keyboards, sound effects, then some Blade Runner - like synths, before the pulsating drums, bass, and Ophuis' sultry voice. She quickly takes off in full flight with the massive drums, keys, and launching guitars following in pursuit. Do you really need more?
"Release Me" is another cool romp into what sounds like the future, with Ophuis whispering and leading the way. The rushing tempo sounds like a great match for the last song title, but this song, like the rest of the other tracks, stands tall on its own. The roar of the crowd that joins in towards the end and de Jong's launching guitar solo is just amazing. I refuse to spoil the ending.
"2012" is a close to 6 minute instrumental that allows the rest of the band to flex their muscle…and they do. Incredible synths, followed by eerie piano keys and sound effects to get this forewarning and gloomy forecast on next year, off to a start. Then what sounds like a computer generated voice, not unlike like Stephen Hawking, takes over narration. I think that's enough of a tease for any nerds out there.
Heli Reissenweber of Rammstein cover band Stahlzeit gives "Allein", the final track, a more powerful and darker vocal. He even throws in some German lyrics to give it an authentic steel glaze. However, Ophuis is there to balance things out. If you haven't already received enough power chords this will be the ticket.
Easily one of the best bands and albums of 2011. It is so easy to write reviews when the music is this good. The best female metal album I've heard this year. I'm hooked!
Now to go and buy the back catalog…
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