Nether – Nine Circles
1. Soul Collector
Here’s one for the old school Metal maniacs! And by a fairly new band, though the Metal Archives suggests they were active for quite a while under a different name. In any case, this is the first release for the Croatian four-piece called Nether. And yes, for something that is now only a week old, it sounds at least three decades old.
Fans of the good old Teutonic Thrash must be delighted by this release. This quartet manages to bring out the best Kreator traditions to the surface, add some Death Metal touches and spew it forth on the unsuspecting listener.
To start from the top, the cover artwork is great! Arts of the Unspeakable is responsible for the visual side and it is a job very well done. Production-wise there are also no complaints. Clean, but not overly polished, it brings out the best qualities of the band to the surface. Still, putting all of this aside, the music is what counts the most, and Nether does deliver in style. Sure, some will claim there is not a single shred of original thought here, and they will be absolutely right. However, does that mean we should just cast it aside as a thing of the past? Absolutely not! The Croatians make decent songs, filled with enough power and aggression to make your head bang on basic instinct. Old-styled riffing, combined with omnipresent solos, drives the tracks, varying between typical German Thrash and Florida infused Death Metal. Vocals are placed somewhere in between those styles as well. Strong and confident delivery marks the themes that mostly cover the dark side of human experience. Rhythm section is the usual problem with this kind of old school worship, but this quartet resolves the issue with quite diverse drumming and bass guitar fills.
Everything seems as good as it gets on “Nine Circles”. Yet, there is a big fault here. This concerns the compositions themselves. This EP simply lacks “hooks”. There is not a single track that will stick to your memory for much longer than the EP itself lasts. It is well-played, every angle of the genre has been covered, but the question remains if this is a release for a repeated listening. I don’t think so. Still, when we take into consideration the fact that this is the debut recording, there is enough potential for this band to grow. Hopefully the next release will see that potential exploited to the full.