While you were probably too busy this year listening to the latest releases of Fleshrot
or other brilliant releases in the Brutal Death Metal
genre, it’s probably safe to assume you didn't notice the release of Revenge and Supremacy
from French deathsters Nephren-Ka
Within a genre whose releases are dominated by labels like Unique Leader, Relapse or Sevared, a self-produced EP will most likely go unnoticed and chances are you’re missing something. This Brutal Death Metal
made in France, or more precisely in the region of Auvergne (something they take no small pride in) brings nonetheless bright promises and I’d be damned if this should stay hidden among the myriads of worthless bands out there plaguing this style.
With their moniker, you’d be thinking Nephren-Ka
would rather be a wannabe Nile
and while their first unreleased demo would prove you right, they've come a long way ever since. Think of it rather as a tribute to the band that somehow almost saved Death Metal
when it was at its lowest in the late nineties. And
This EP, or rather mini CD (6 full-fledged tracks), opens up with the relentless attacks of Lord
Of Treason. No nice intro, no nice sampled speech from a Z horror movie, just plain aggression. Be prepared as this onslaught sets the tone for the rest of the recording. Sure they drop the pace on very few occasions like on Centerpiece of the Universe
or the eponymous track but it’s always to make certain you've caught your breath before they drown you again in a maelstrom of musical notes.
The very first thing that will get your attention is those guys' expert musicianship. This applies to all of them with no distinction. Most members have had past experiences in various local bands but never it seems they’ve hit the nail so hard. To the extent that most reviews compare them to Origin
or Hate Eternal
. While the compliment is most certainly appreciated among the band members, it would be simplistic to believe they're only clones of the aforementioned bands.
do really have their own style and while the similarities with Origin
are not completely lost and unjustified, they bring their own stuff with complex songwriting that would make you think of other acts like Atheist
, especially with the expert bass of Alex even sounding jazzy at times when you’d least expect it. Add to this lyrics dealing with Frank Herbert's Dune universe (a welcome change from either the gore drenched-worshipping bands or those that shamelessly steal from Tolkien’s Lord
of the Ring) and you know you’re in for a mind-blowing experience.
I for myself am not the biggest fan of Brutal Death Metal
out there but the complex and boredom-free songwriting and dare I say the “emotion" that is palpable make it for a very enjoyable record I would recommend to most. And
guess what, they've been signed to re-release Revenge and Supremacy
through Great Dane Recordings, which gives you no further excuse to not acquire the said recoding.
With time, and in honing even more their skills and sound, Nephren-Ka
have all the right ingredients to make it among the very best out there. If they develop even more their own style to avoid the obvious comparisons with other acts, I’ll be damned if we won’t hear of a breakthrough debut any time soon.