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Nervecell - Preaching Venom - 77%

I_Cast_No_Shadow, January 27th, 2010

Well, Nervecell happens to be the first death (/thrash) metal band I have encountered from the middle-east, and it was long after having my first listen to Preaching Venom that I discovered they’re from UAE, and trust me, after that, it had lifted my attention to this one and had me listen to the record again. That was the time when I had my playlist occupied by faster and more brutal western groups like Morbid Angel and Deicide and I comparatively found it a bit weaker. A multiple listens and I was steadily drenching into the tracks.

It begins with “As they Reign and Slither”, an acoustic intro, which engages a trace of middle-eastern flavor. This aroma of middle-eastern influence persists throughout the album and this has helped it become distinct amid several riffs which resemble to have arrived from other bands. I mean, this album illustrates a diverse similitude, e.g. the Beneath the Massacre sounding breakdown (“Flesh and Memories”, 2:51), Lamb of God sounding part (“Haute Monde Façade”, 2:10) among others.

When second track “Vicious Circle of Bloodshed” commences, it doesn’t give an indication at all that the album is more onto the technical side of death/thrash metal. I was expecting the record to be on the surface of old school death metal as the initial riffs of the track contain more tremolo parts than the style we find in the latter tracks. Saying this, I don’t mean there aren’t any technical pieces in this track. There are, especially in breakdowns, but these seem somewhat misplaced, arranged in untimely manner or rather unnecessary.

Melodic harmonies are regularly noticeable in between, and these are the parts where the middle-eastern folk tastes are mostly visible. “Beyond Our Sins” occurs to be the most melodic one among others. Acoustic guitar intros are usual in most tracks. One of which is the six-minute instrumental “Ratios”, accompanying few unusual tempo changes and progressions during first few minutes. This one is obviously the most diverse track in the album.

The guitar riffs are quite good but they don’t enclose brutality at most of the times. Technicalities and melodies overcome the existence of brutality. And one major concern is the positioning of melodic solos in the middle of death metal songs, which doesn’t quite fit well. While this arrangement seems to be alright in few parts, they sounded a little out of shape in others. The hardest riff comes out in the beginning of “Existence Ceased”, the last track, which is my favorite riff in the whole album. The drumming is awesomely done by Dave Haley. The accurate level of drumming is portrayed, in consideration to the rest of the instruments.

The vocals and lyrics are decent. The vocals aren’t surprising as we can find death growls of this quality in numerous other bands in the vast ocean of death metal, and the dual vocal attacks are properly assembled in tracks as “Beyond Our Sins” and “Demean”.

All in all, regardless of everything, Preaching Venom is a pretty good release from the Emirates band. It is fun to listen to, and is also likely to impress progressive and melodic metal listeners apart from death/thrash.