Nervecell – “Psychogenocide”

Nervecell have quickly become one of my favourite new (well, new-ish) Death Metal bands. They somehow manage to retain everything I like about old school Death Metal and still make it sound fresh and exciting. Their music is technical, but without ever sounding over the top. Their use of middle-eastern melodies remind me Nile, but I never feel like I’m listening to Nile (or a Nile clone for that matter). Nervecell are very much their own beast.

“Psychogenocide” is the band’s follow up to “Preaching Venom” – an album I purchased from CDBaby ages ago, but still manages to find itself on my playlist at least once a week. Since I rate “Preaching Venom” so highly, “Psychogenocide” had a lot of live up to. After my very first listen to the album, I knew that Nervecell had cracked it. They’ve really aimed high with this one.

The album opens with “Anemic Assugency” – a track that pretty much acts as a introduction and that straightaway reacquaints the listener with those Middle Eastern melodies that were pretty prominent in the last release. It’s very easy to imagine that I’m not in the UK when I listen to this. Then “Once Upon an Epidemic Scheme” kicks in and the calming melodies are all but forgotten. Complex riffs, deep vocals and insane drumming all spill out of the speakers and before you know it, you’re immersed in Nervecell’s highly addictive form of Death Metal. Not to mention the fact that these guys know the importance of a killer guitar solo. The one in “Once Upon an Epidemic Scheme” really cuts through the rest of track and makes you grab the nearest air guitar.

“All Eyes on Them” is an insane, frantic monster of a track. Heavy, yet still melodic. It also sets you up nicely for “Amok Doctrine” – a track knocks you on your arse almost immediately. “Amok Doctrine” is the kind of track that could easily incite a pit. I can almost imagine it being played at one of the summer festivals. Somebody needs to book this band for Bloodstock. NOW!

The title track gives me neck-ache just by listening to it. In fact, I was listening to it on the way to work this morning and I had to summon up all of my will-power not to try and headbang. Headbanging at stupid o’clock in the morning, while walking along a main road is most definitely not recommended. I need to remember this… otherwise it’s only a matter of time before the men in white coats come to take me away. Also, I must remember not to try and growl along when out walking… this is because it makes me look like a lunatic… and also because I can’t actually growl properly so it just sounds pathetic.

“Imprint” is another example of Nervecell’s seeming obsession to break my neck. Again we are pummelled by rapid fire drumming and HEAVY riffs and vocals. Then it’s time for “Shunq (To The Despaired… King Of Darkness)” where Mr Karl Sanders (of Nile) lends the band his vocal stylings. The track itself features vocals in both English and Arabic (don’t these guys know I have a hard enough time growling along in English? :P). An incredibly enjoyable track from beginning to end. If you’ve never listened to Nervecell before, try to listen to this little beauty – you’ll be an instant convert.

“The Taste of Betrayal” acts as a brief interlude before “Driven By Nescience” crashes into your eardrums. The album closes with “Nation’s Plague” – a fantastic end to a fantastic album!

Does “Psychogenocide” surpass the heady heights reached by “Preaching Venom”? Yes – without a doubt!

Rating: 99%

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