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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Label : Napalm Records
Review by Tony Cannella
The end of 2011 has seen some of the best releases of the year, in my opinion. There’s Trillium, the new Nightwish and now you can add the 3rd full-length album from the Dutch, alternative/modern metal band Nemesea, titled “The Quiet Resistance” to the list of excellent albums that came out in 2011. According to guitarist HJ via their bio, “there are times when you want to be brutally honest and speak your mind, that’s the quiet resistance within you”. Amen and where do I sign up? Seriously though, that is the lyrical path that “The Quiet Resistance” ventures down and it is a strong subject matter that I think many of us could relate to and agree with – at least that’s my take. Musically, “The Quiet Resistance”, definitely has a modern, melodic hard rock/metal feel with a distinct pop flavor in the songs. At various times other influences creep in such as hip-hop, electronica and industrial, but those influences don’t overwhelm anything. Opening this 14-minute, 55-minute affair is the eerily, spooky intro “The Quiet Resistance”. This leads us into the up tempo electronica of “Caught in the Middle”, vocalist Manda has an excellent voice, especially on the gut wrenching, memorable chorus that this track provides. This song also features the lyric “What’s the point in giving up, when you know you’ll never stop”, just a small dose of the optimism that Nemesea offers. Manda has got such an expressive voice and one that drives home the subject matter in the songs. Next is the first video track “Afterlife”, another song that has an up tempo chorus. “Whenever” changes tempos several times from slow to heavy, and the chorus is rather straight-forward, and once again memorable as the guitarist HJ really comes through with a heavy riff, the keyboard bit near the end also gives it a prog-like feel. “If You Could” is a melancholically, wistful ballad, that features some orchestration. This is one that I can definitely imagine hearing on the radio and is a perfect example of their mainstream potential. “Say” features a record scratcher utilized by many rap bands (what are they called?), but for the most part is definitely Nemesea, this song provides the excellent lyric “Say it like it is, say it like you mean it, words are strong enough to say you care”. Male vocalists are also featured prominently on some songs like on the previous song “Say” (not much, just a bit), but mostly on the next track “It’s Over”, that sees Manda singing a duet and more scratching is included, but this turned out to be my favorite song. Other highlights include: “High Enough”, “I Live” and “Stay With Me”. The instrumental “2012” has an electronic influence and this leads us into the industrialized Rammstein like final track “Allein”, this is different than anything else here, the track is sung in both German and English with a male vocalist handling the German parts and Manda singing the English parts. “Allein” definitely ends “The Quiet Resistance” with authority. “The Quiet Resistance” is a great album and Nemesea is certainly a band to watch out for in the future. This is definitely music that has the ability to reach a mainstream audience, whether it does or doesn’t that is another question, but I will say this – they perform their craft better than a lot of bands that are hugely successful.
Rating - 95/100
Label : Metal Blade Records
Review by Tony Cannella & Luisa Mercier
It is hard to believe that the first EP from the Dutch Metal Band Autumn was released 10-years ago. Since that initial EP (“Spring Starts With Autumn”), the band has grown and flourished before our very eyes and that continues on their just released 5th album “Cold Comfort”. This is the second Autumn album to feature lead singer Marjan Welman, and she seems to be growing more into the role of the voice of this talented Dutch band. Musically, Autumn has adapted a more of a proggy, more atmospheric – and sometimes relaxing – sound on “Cold Comfort”. The band pretty much adheres to the same basic tempo, but having said that, the songs and musicianship are good and should not be dismissed. From the thumping opener “The Scarecrow” and then the title track “Cold Comfort”, Autumn is indeed back. The third track “Black Stars in a Blue Sky” is easily my favorite and the band – especially Marjan are sounding great. Maybe this isn’t the perfect album, but songs like “End of Sorrow”, “Truth Be Told (Exhale)” and especially the closing track “The Venamoured” are all excellent and memorable. “Cold Comfort” is not one of those albums that have an immediate impact – at least it wasn’t for me. It definitely took a few listens to warm up to, but once I did I really grew to like many of the songs and the direction that Autumn has taken.
Rating - 80/100
I will not hide my love towards this band and above all towards the vocals of Marjan Welman, so you might imagine how excited I could be when I came to know that they were releasing a new album. So here I am, listening to “Cold Comfort”, their fifth release, in which the band took a step further in the evolution of their sound: from the alternative, catchy rock of “Altitude” to atmospheric, elegant, classy prog rock. Since the beginning, you will perceive a soulful yet technical feeling; the band did not bend itself to classic song structure, preferring to conjure up a new one like in “The Scarecrow”. The choruses are completely instrumental, but the guitar riffs and the background keys are as emotional as the female vocals in the verses. “Cold Comfort”, the title track, follows. Many of you may have already listened to this since it was chosen as appetizer for the album. Lively guitars lead to the calm pond of the verse where Marjan delivers her amazing vocal lines. This girl has been graced by a great talent, she can create a pathos that, mixed with the perfectly crafted music, can make your heart beat faster. Just listen to “Black Stars in a Blue Sky”, one of my personal favourite. The chorus will send shivers down your spine as she soars above guitars and synths. This track is maybe the catchiest on the record, which overall is not easy to grasp at first listen. Something I absolutely adore about “Cold Comfort” are the bridges of the songs. There you will find the most emotional moments of the CD and “Retrospect” is no exception. Despite being one of the fastest songs, it gradually builds up a certain melacholy which results in the epic bridge, crowned by impressive guitar work.
And here we are to “Alloy”. What can I say? Acoustic guitar and piano accompany us in an emotional trip with no end. Marjan vocals caresses your ears, sweet, soft, versatile. Never heard such an intimate song before by them. At about half of the song you will be suspended in a instrumental limbo where only a few notes can be be heard and then just listen as the tension rises higher and higher til it explodes. Best song on the album. Another little masterpiece is the mid-tempo “End of Sorrow”: an atmospheric, moody track which will lead you in a different dimension. Try not to be moved by the words of the chorus “I dream we are the last couple dancing, let me be the one to hold your hand, see that I can hold on forever, nothing can convince me otherwise”. You might perceive echoes of “Altitude” in the song, underlining the continuity between the two albums. “Naeon” and “Truth to Be Told (Exhale)” are the two songs in which the prog influence is more apparent. I would like to highlight the wonderful bridge of the first in which Marjan sounds almost otherwordly and the jazz-like break in the second. “The Venamoured” is the closing track. Heavy guitar riffs mix with the heavenly voice of the singer ; while the final minutes are literally a metal explosion. Aggressive guitars portray an energetic ending to this amazing album. Feelings, tecnique, atmosphere, different musical landscapes and moods, all of this can be found in “Cold Comfort”, one of the best rock/metal releases of 2011.
Rating - 100/100