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Nothnegal - "Decadence" (CD)

Nothnegal - "Decadence" CD cover image

"Decadence" track listing:

1. Salvation (4:17)
2. Claymore (5:26)
3. Janus (4:32)
4. Decadence (5:44)
5. Armageddon (5:07)
6. R.A.D.A.R (7:19)
7. Sins Of Our Creations (4:49)
8. Singularity (4:41)

Reviewed by on December 24, 2011

"Spinning multiple webs and even twisting old sounds into new strands, 'Decadence' just may be the new face of melodic death metal and provides a much needed change of pace in a genre that hasn’t seen much innovation from the bigger names lately."

Getting 2012 off to a very promising start, Maldivian newcomer Nothnegal is breaking onto the scene with an album that manages to be incredibly varied without losing focus. Spinning multiple webs and even twisting old sounds into new strands, “Decadence” just may be the new face of melodic death metal and provides a much needed change of pace in a genre that hasn’t seen much innovation from the bigger names lately.

Nothnegal’s debut full-length album has several different modes, changing slightly in style as the disc progresses. The early songs like “Salvation” and “Claymore” start off on the heavier end to build death metal cred and bring out the harsh and distorted growls. As each song passes, the album gradually moves towards a more atmospheric direction, using a smooth clean singing on tracks like “Sins of our Creations” and “Singularity” that’s refreshingly different and fits well with both the melodic and the heavy aspects of the music. It’s almost a shame the album is broken up into sections, as the clean singing really knocks it out of the park and would be a welcome addition to any of the songs.

Keyboards play a significant role in each track, but they don’t take over the entire sound or define the music. Alternating between eerie, industrial, and even electronic, the synth work is incredibly varied and goes its own direction instead of simply reinforcing the guitar riffs. Interestingly the production isn’t super loud and is a bit more on the subtle side; listeners will definitely get more out of this album carefully listening through on headphones than blasting in the car.

All eight tracks offer a unique take on a familiar sound, working within the framework of melodic death metal but without ending up a Dark Tranquillity knock off. The music overall isn’t quite as melancholy as the likes of Swallow the Sun, but neither quite as forceful or fast paced as Arch Enemy, striking a balance between the extremes of the style. It’s restrained, but with a hint of the epic always right underneath the surface.

“Decadence” shows a burgeoning young talent paying homage to the genre that birthed it while not being afraid to branch out in different directions. Melodic death metal fans should consider it one to look out for, and hope the band’s recent signing with Season of Mist means Nothnegal will be making waves in the scene for a good long time to come.

Highs: Great clean vocals and harsh growls, lots of varied sounds, and fantastic backing keyboard work

Lows: The album seems to be broken up into segments and could be integrated a bit better

Bottom line: Dark, melodic death metal with industrial and symphonic overtones from a promising young band.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)