Nerved – Leave it All Behind
Admittedly, the assignment to review the, for me previously unknown band, Nerved’s new album, “Leave it All Behind”, felt a little bit uncomfortable, due to the fact that I guessed their music would be quite far from my normal comfort zone. At the same time it felt a bit exciting as I, despite my usual rather strict diet of Black, Thrash, Death and Doom metal, occasionally actually finds something that I really like, looking up those things far different from that which normally spins on my record plate.
Nerved’s music could be described as a modern take on “alternate metal”, something I, as previously mentioned, probably would never have looked up on my own, but the initial song “Freedom” leaves me really positively surprised! Sure, I do not fully understand the massive use of synthesizer sounds and effects, even though that’s absolutely nothing that bothers or annoys me, but the song is a really heavy one with some great melodies, that absolutely leaves you hungry for more!
Although the following songs do not reach the level of the first song, the first half of the record presents some really decent tunes and even the cover of Leila K’s old hit “Electric”, much to my surprise, works out great! The speedy interpretation of the Euro Techno-Queen’s old bell-ringer belongs to, together with “Freedom”, one of my favorites on the record! “Electric” is by the way one of the few real up tempo songs on the album, which is mostly at a fairly slow mid-tempo pace, and although I definitely could have managed without guest singer Richard Sjunnessons growl, “Electric” works like a powerful adrenaline injection, and Petra Kvännås delivers some brilliant vocals in the song!
However, everything is not milk and honey on “Leave it All Behind”. Even though Petra, when putting full power, and boy does she got power, behind the vocals, makes a phenomenal effort delivering the lyrics, reminding me of, and absolute being up to pair with one of my favorite vocalists, Jennie-Ann Smith (Avatarium), she feels a bit uninspired at the more laid back parts of the songs and sometimes the melodies in the calm parts even gets a bit boring. Likewise, the songs sometimes, especially on the second half of the album, suffer from the fact that, between some high peaks, they consist of, in my ears, a bit too many “calm” and bland passages.
Regarding the sound on the record, nothing seems to have been left by chance. The heavy guitars and the rumbling juicy bass blends perfectly with the vocals, drums and the ever so often present layers of synthesizers, and I find it hard to remember when, if at all, I heard a more well-balanced production! Everything is clearly prominent and this is, to say the least, a really well-sounding recording!
At its best moments, “Leave it All Behind” reminds me, even if it is quite a bit different music wise (Nerved not being Doom at all), both in tune and song structures, quite a bit of the Christian (shivers) “not so very doomy, but still brilliant” progressive Doom Metal-band “Mirador” and even a bit of Ed Warbys (Ayreon, Ex-Gorefest among others.) Doom Metal-project “The 11th Hour”, and that is, at least in my book, something really good. Unfortunately, it does not go far enough, and despite the strong first half of the record the four last songs really doesn’t make it for me. However, I guarantee that I will give both the phenomenal opening track and the terrific take on “Electric” another spin, once in a while!
Title: Leave it All Behind
Label: MMS Records/Universal
Date of release: 24/8-18
Playing time: 44:07
Stand out track: Freedom