NOTHNEGAL — Decadence (review)

NOTHNEGAL — Decadence album cover Album · 2012 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Despite being located in the middle of the Indian Ocean almost 1000 km from the Asian continent south of India and Sri Lanka and with a population that doesn’t even exceed 500,000, the atoll rich nation of the Maldives has produced more than its share of extreme metal bands which is usually not the case for a nation with a predominantly Muslim population. Coming from the capital city of Malé (which is a trip to see as it’s literally a city filled with skyscrapers contained on a tiny island) is the melodic death metal band NOTHNEGAL which was formed by guitarist Hilari after leaving the band The Mortuary.

After a few personal changes and the release of the 2010 self released demo “Antidote of Realism,” the band resulted in the current lineup of Alfan (lead vocals), Fufu (lead vocals, lead guitar), Hilari (lead guitar), Battery (bass), Marco Sneck (keyboardist Kalmah, Poisonblack ) and Keven Talley (drummer, percussionist of Six Feet Under, Dååth, Chimaira, Dying Fetus and Misery). Somehow the band attracted the attention of the famous Finnish producer Anssi Kippo who has worked with heavy hitters such as Children of Bodom and Norther amongst others and he produced the band’s debut album DECADENCE which won several awards in their homeland as well as finding them on tour in Europe with bands like Finntroll, Samuel and Rotting Christ.

DECADENCE is a modern melodic death headbanger that cranks out groovy Fear Factory type riffing and pummeling drum antics along with an audible bass that distinguishes itself as well as the shouted death growls but what really stands out are the loads of keyboard effects that add eerie atmospheres and give the album touch of industrial feel. Despite emerging from one of the most foremost tropical paradises where the sun is a plenty and the seas around are the most beautiful shades of blue, this should sound like an exotic specimen of metal with some kind of indigenous touches but that’s not the case at all. In fact it would be impossible to distinguish this band from any other similar styled melo-death band from Europe or the US.

Overall DECADENCE is a well performed and excellently produced album that ticks off all the right attributes for its subgenre of choice but what’s lacking are memorable compositions. For melodic music, the melodies aren’t really catchy enough to distinguish themselves from each other and the album suffers from a bit of sameness after it’s done, however it’s a compelling example of how extreme metal has blossomed in the most unlikely places that many haven’t even heard of. I mean, anyone been to the Maldives lately? True that the last two tracks change things up with some clean vocals but i don’t find it works out too well. Despite the lack of variation, the electronic effects are what saves this one from falling into the bland generic mode as they tend to give more independent form to an otherwise by the book melo-death approach. Impressive how the band emerged from nowhere and got noticed. Hopefully a better followup will emerge.
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