REVIEW: NEMESIUM – CONTINUA
If you’ve ever walked into a pizza parlor sometime during your life, then I’m certain that you caught a glimpse of an “everything slice.” Stacked to the brim with various toppings, these slices are more or less a medley of everything else on the menu. And while they taste great (and cause some killer heartburn), these slices are atrociously difficult to eat, with thier mounds of toppings susceptible to fall off the pizza entirely at the slightest movement. After listening to Nemesium‘s full-length debut, Continua, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the messy yet multifaceted nature of the “everything slice” in what I was hearing. While this Aussie extreme metal 5-piece is still finding their identity, it’s clear that Nemesium are ripe to become something truly sensational.
From a solely surface-level listen, Continua comes off as an amalgam of prog/death, tech/death, and melo-death, just to name a few examples. Beyond taking cues from various walks of extreme metal, Continua captures Nemesium actively fleshing out their own unique sound, experimenting with different degrees of stylistic emphasis from each high octane track to high octane track.
On Continua, Nemesium showcases a natural talent of imbuing their songwriting with an electrifyingly dynamic gusto. Seamlessly weaving together textures and tendencies of numerous metal subgenres with stunning finesse, they never cease to find a way to take otherwise contrasting tones and coalesce them into something that elevates a track to a whole new level. “Boundaryless” perfectly exemplifies just how phenomenal Nemesium’s songwriting chops are, with the track’s thrilling dynamics and variety being matched only by just how cleanly all these sonic elements all click together. What results is an atmospheric blend of soaring melodies and blisteringly rapid riffage not unlike the larger than life bombast of technical death metal acts like Mithras and Sarpanitum, given a decidedly melodeath-esque zest to top it all off. Track seven, “The Fire and The Flesh,” manages to twist a mid-tempo, melancholic post-metal dirge into a tech/death-reminiscent conclusion.
While this genre-hopping variety gives each track on Continua a distinctive flair, it comes at the price of the record lacking a cohesive stylistic backbone. As tight and neatly packaged each track on Nemesium’s full-length debut is in a vacuum, as a whole record, it lacks a collective uniformity, save for an overarching veneer of melodic death metal permeating most of the album’s tracklist. How exactly the band bends and experiments with this constant from track to track dramatically varies, from the invigorating grooves and anthemic guitar arpeggios on “Annihilation Prophecy” to the distinctly Gothenburg scene-tinged callbacks on “Virch” and “The Dawn of Retribution.” And while it may be hard to put an exact pin on what their sound is at this point as listeners, there’s no reason not to believe the band is asking the same question themselves. Yet, that’s what makes Continua so damn captivating in the first place. Being that Nemesium more than prove their worth in the performance and songwriting departments, the variety of sounds and ideas explored on Continua invite listeners to actively observe what could be death metal’s next heavy hitter in the process of finding its identity.
Like a slice of pizza with every topping on it, the sum of Continua’s parts isn’t entirely organized. Still, I am more than sure that there is something truly sensational here underneath all of this subgenre-based trial and error just waiting to be discovered. Maybe its the cheese? Pepperoni? Hopefully, Nemesium will know soon enough.