Review: “Continua” by Nemesium

When to comes to dark secrets, Australia still has a few untapped resources in the wilderness. One of those isĀ Nemesium, an Extreme Metal act who released their debut EP “Sentient Cognizance” back in 2015 and have since been sharpening their blades, waiting to unleash hell in the form of “Continua“. The quintet, who comprise vocalist Clint Williams, drummer Justin Rhodes, bassist Marcus Ritli and axe wielding duo Chirs McEwin and Andrew Reid, are known for channeling influences from 90s Scandinavian Black Metal alongside Technical Progressive Death Metal and have in those 5 years joined Sinister, Krisiun, Undergang, Omnium Gatherum, as well as Aussie legends Psycroptic and King Parrot in sharing a stage.

The classic horror film sample with programmed sinister backing “Antecedent” sets the scene for the onslaught of “Archetype”, a pummeling hybrid of Black Metal kit work and Death Metal riffs, with all the dynamic and satanic panic of both, wrapped and tied with a bow. It’s tight, compact and as vicious as a punch in the face with a broken glass. “Boundaryless” offers some creepier riffs with Sludge Metal overtones and hints at influence from bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, especially when a ripper of a solo builds out of nothing and lets fly into an almost tribal drum pattern from Rhodes that is instantly gratifying. There are some odd time signatures at play in places while the sense of melody is kept firmly in check. A re-recorded cut from the bands debut EP in “Annihilation Prophecy” might be something of a surprise choice to include so long after it’s first introduction but it fits well and introduces some Blackened Thrash riffs that are reminiscent of recent works by the likes of Canadians Dizastra. Lyrically there are some Power Metal themes that run through the heart of this one but none of the stylings of that are used in this galloped frenzy of riffs and Williams doesn’t do clean signing. His range is strictly unclean throughout but he has fantastic pitch control to create a variety of voices in each verse.

The second interlude on the album comes in the form of “Continuum“, which is a oriental ancient tribe drum pattern that sets up an “Arise” era Sepultura burst for “Virch“. Those tribal patterns aren’t something you might usually expect from something as Blackened as Nemesium offer but they know no bounds and create an offering that is as varied as it is heavy and headbangable. “Continua” isn’t heavy for the sake of it, instead each movement finds balance and with dark light and sinister shade. “The Fire And The Flesh” is fine example of that, with a slow atmospheric build into jack hammer footwork, cut throat vocals and some classic Death Metal riffs. The interweaving guitars during the longer instrumental sections are powerful and how Williams manages to keep his lyrics audible within his roar defies the odds at times. Returning to the Thrash influenced riffs for “Cloud Chaser“, which is a timeless classic gem of track with racing leads and pulverizing rhythms that should open doors and put this band on bigger stages on it’s own, it’s little wonder that Nemesium are receiving attention at the moment.

The atmospheric “My Final Fight” is arguably the cleanest and most sinister set of riffs on show here, with a cinematic quality that offers a couple of minutes of instrumental respite from Williams hard hitting vocals. It could have been the introduction to the album as a whole and will no doubt bring the band to the stage at some point in the future. “The Dawn of Retribution” builds from the tone that “My Final Fight” sets with Progressive Death Metal riffs and unleashes a plague on unassuming ears. The melancholia of the tale is not lost within the maelstrom of the blood and thunder of wave after wave of building guitar attacks, which takes musicianship, skill and time to perfect. The funky bass drive introduction of “All For Them” is a little bizarre on the first couple of listens, ill fitting with the close of the previous track but once you grow to expect it, it becomes a masterful addition and in this one track alone Extreme Metal influences from all four corners of the Globe are pieced together to quench any Metal Head’s thirst. If the opening strains of “Relive This Nightmare” suggest that Nemesium have a ballad on here, you’d be sorely mistaken. The closer is one final blood and thunder call to arms with some savage vocal change ups, epic and dark twists and turns before a blistering solo that is second to none. On the strength of this, there are going to be many chanting “one more song” after a Nemesium set [8/10]

Track listing

1. Antecedent
2. Archetype
3. Boundaryless
4. Annihilation Prophecy
5. Continuum
6. Virch
7. The Fire And The Flesh
8. Cloud Chaser
9. My Final Fight
10. The Dawn of Retribution
11. All For Them
12. Relive This Nightmare

Continua” by Nemesium is out now via Black Lion Records and available over at bandcamp

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