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Nothnegal: Decadence

Heavy metal is city music. There's just something about the large crowds, the heavy impact of industrialization, and the restless insomnia of the modern city that shapes the drive, the ambition, the very aggressiveness of heavy metal. There are exceptions, but when we think about heavy metal, we tend to think about relatively large, grey, urban spaces. Nothnegal may help change this consistent association between big cities and heavy metal. After all, this is a band that hails from the Maldive Islands, a relative paradise located in the Indian Ocean, the kind of place usually reserved for quiet honeymoons, surfing, dancing, and relaxing, not the kind of place one traditionally seeks out the throaty rasps of death metal.

Nothnegal is largely the creation of two men: guitarist Hilarl and his cousin, also a guitarist, who goes by Fufu. The other members of the band include Battery, Marco Sneck, and Kevin Talley. There have been lineup changes over the last couple of years, but Nothnegal is now ready for a larger audience to hear and see what they have to offer. Their full-length debut, Decadence, is a mixture of raspy growls, hard riffs, and aggressive drumming. The album's first half is a mostly consistent offering of sounds that attempt to blend death metal vocals with an odd blend of traditional heavy metal instrumentation and some out-of-place melodic keyboard parts that both establish mood and yet also distract from the larger drive of the music. As I listened to Decadence, I often struggled to grasp exactly what overall theme or mood it was trying to establish.

The album's second half is far less consistent. "R.A.D.A.R," for example, adds more keyboard lines, but does so in ways that confuse the larger heavy metal direction of the music. The result isn't exactly synth-infused pop, but it does sound as though the keyboard player wants to dance a little bit more than he should. Moreover, the vocals on the last two tracks drop the rasping of the earlier tracks for a cleaner, more conventional sound. I don't expect that all bands should do the same things over and over, but it would be nice for a complete album to have a larger sense of purpose and consistency. I think that Nothnegal missed an opportunity here to shore up their strengths and to present listeners with a solid musical offering. I wanted more from this band, but not because they left me feeling like I couldn't get enough. There is energy and talent here, but it doesn't quite come together.

Track Listing:
1. Salvation
2. Claymore
3. Janus
4. Decadence
5. Armageddon
6. R.A.D.A.R
7. Sins of Our Creations
8. Singularity

Added: January 22nd 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1338
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Nothnegal: Decadence
Posted by funghello on 2012-05-21 08:13:36
My Score:

I don't agree with your point of view. It's a good release, well played and perfect in the contest of such a kinda genre.

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