Most people usually would think about the same things if you were to ask them what Sweden is like. Beautiful blonde women, snow, and people with names like Sven and Magnus. Upon further questioning, anybody who's into metal would also note the Swedish metal that has such a signature sound. Well, Jacob Bannon's label Deathwish Inc. have gone out and signed Sweden's latest export, Nine, and have put out their American debut, Killing Angels.
It's quite clear that the main attempt of these guys is to be unrelentingly brutal, and in that right, there's no doubt they've succeeded. Each of the album's 10 tracks is just as heavy and pounding as the last. There's no song that sticks out above any others as being weak, so the album flows well together. These guys take you on a really intense ride, and thankfully manage to keep that ride interesting. A lot of times with metal albums, things tend to just mold together, and sound like it's just one big song, but Nine keep each track different, and fuse in some different elements so that it never really gets the chance to grow tiresome.
Upon first listen of Killing Angels, I couldn't help but notice how strong the
vocals are. I'm not normally one for the throaty, scruffy-sounding growls, but Nine's vocalist really knows how to pull it off. He uses just the right amount of emphasis, and puts a lot of passion in it, which is immediately evident. Singers for bands like this often feel so uninspired and lazy that it turns you off immediately. That's not the case at all here luckily, as these vocals will really grab you by the neck and make you pay attention to what he has to say. The best showing of the singer's vocal talents comes in "33," and no, it's not a Coheed And Cambria cover. It's one of the strongest tracks on the album, and provides some excellent guitar work and drumming as well. It has some really driving riffs, and the vocals work very well off of them, with the drumming keeping a great tempo. That's one of the things I find so appealing about this album, is that it doesn't feel the need to be as fast as possible and have double bass drums going at lightning speed, it just plays off its strengths.
Nine work quite well as cohesive musicians, providing some great framework
for the vocals. It's not the fastest, and not the hardest, but it's technically very tight,
and the chord progressions are solid throughout. The delivery of the vocals sounds so good because of the work laid down with the guitar, bass, and drums. As I mentioned, not everything has to be played at blistering speed, as there's some moments of really eerie guitar, but it works well. The textures flow, the moods flow, and the drive just doesn't quit though the entire album.
I've never been too big a fan of metal, as it's just always sounded so boring and
lame to me. There are of course bands who do things differently, and don't run with the rest of the pack, but it seems to be few and far between with metal. This release, however, has really impressed me. The vocals are excellent, and the rest of the music is just on point. The production has been done very well without sounding overdone; it only adds to the album. For fans of metal, this is definitely something you'll want to check out.