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Gallows End - "Nemesis Divine" (CD)

Gallows End - "Nemesis Divine" CD cover image

"Nemesis Divine" track listing:

1. Nemesis Divine (Trial of the Gods)
2. Soul Collector
3. Kingdom of the Damned
4. No Return
5. The Curse
6. Set the World in Flames
7. Not Your Own
8. Different Eyes
9. The End
10. The Unborn Flag
11. Storm of Fate
12. Riders of the North

Reviewed by on November 8, 2010

"If you are a firm believer as I am that metal music of the early 80’s to the early 90’s was when the genre peaked, then this is a band and album that you definitely need to check out."

At first glance, given the band's name and album artwork, I assumed them to be a Candlemass-inspired doom metal band, but two seconds into the opening riff of "Nemesis Divine (Trial of the Gods)" put those thoughts to rest. Relying on nothing even reminiscent of doom metal, they instead open up a case of metal-meets-power-metal-infused whoop ass on "Nemesis Divine."

The above-mentioned title track's intro, which incorporates a verse from the King James translation of Matthew 13:41-42, adds to the overall old-school feel of the CD. This segues into a very traditional power metal mid-tempo double bass drum romp. The solo section, as with every other aspect of this effort, is very melodic and tasteful, a formula that runs rampant through the entirety of the album (minus the bible scripture, of course). The dual guitar onslaught of Thord Klarstrom (who is also the lead vocalist) and Peter Samuelsson, in conjunction with the talents of now former drummer Mikael Karlsson and bassist Niklas Nord, deliver exactly what their motto states: “Pure f@$king heavy metal."

The disc at times conjures up a blend of power metal and old-school melodic metal ala Riot, Seven Witches, and Fifth Angel, while still maintaining the band's own sonic identity. In places like the chorus of "The Curse," there are shades of more recent power metal bands, such as Angra, that shine through in their music. This release runs the gamut from headbanging grooves like "No Return" to the traditional power metal gallops on "Storm of Fate." This is metal in one of its truest forms; no lack of good songwriting hidden behind virtuoso guitar shredding or over-the-top keyboard noodling, just plain good-old heavy metal.

Long story short, if you are firm believer as I am that metal music of the early 80’s to the early 90’s was when the genre peaked, then this is a band and album that you definitely need to check out.

Highs: Great rhythm guitar work coupled with tasteful guitar leads and solid lyrics

Lows: I would have liked the vocals to have been a tad more epic in nature

Bottom line: Good, solid groove-oriented heavy metal that teeters on the edge of power metal

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)