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Neckbreak Nation - Stroke Of The Devil's Hour

Neckbreak Nation
Stroke Of The Devil's Hour
by Kostas Kiriakis at 16 April 2014, 12:49 PM

Formed in 2010, already counting one EP, the Dutch metalheads NECKBREAK NATION present to us their debut album, “Stroke of the Devil's Hour”. Newly emerging thrash act in their hometown as I'm told, and a great band name to boot. Good, it was time I'd hear some good thrash stuff from a new band.

Right off the bat I get assaulted with “Endless”, a groove core-ish (if I'm excused the term) mid tempo aggression of a song. Nothing new, but I do start a mild headbang. Promising start. Some tapping leadwork leading to some sweeps greets me into “Detest the Faith” and I'm smiling. Then at the 1st minute it hits me. Deja-vu? Wasn't I just listening to that? Too similar with “Endless” and I fret, but still a good song. “Beyond the Treachery” deviates from this pattern, really nice opening riff, leading to a slow melodic interlude, back again to the opener, back again to the melodic stuff, rinse repeat, should I go on?

To get one thing straight. I'm not a guy that cares about genres. If I like an album I don't care even if its freaking nuclear banjo cyber Black Metal (lol). What really annoys me is people (incorrectly) labeling their own music, creating false expectations on the listener. What I've heard so far is a mix of metalcore, groove metal, and some undertones of thrash and melodic death metal. What follows is of similar context, with the sole exception of “Another Lie”, which is a great epic metalcore melodic hell of a song.

As far as playing ability goes, NECKBREAK NATION are worth their salt. For their age and experience they are really good and talented, all of them. What I really miss here is character. The song structures are not bad in their conception. On the other hand I get the feeling that most changes in the songs are forced, instead of a natural progression of the story being told by the music, and patterns get to be repetitive and predictable for no good reason.

To sum it up, NECBREAK NATION is a good band (really want to see them live) with an ambitious, yet mediocre debut. While I can enjoy most of the songs here, in all honesty I can't listen “Stroke of the Devil's Hour” as a complete work. They really have potential, but that alone is not enough. Hope they surprise me next time.

3 Star Rating

1. Endless
2. Detest the Faith
3. Beyond the Treachery
4. Interlude to Inception
5. Stating Equality
6. Evolve to Six
7. Scorching
8. Another Lie
9. Outcasts (feat. Leigh Chambers)
Sander – Vocals
Jelle – Guitars
Pascal – Guitars
Ivo – Drums
Angus – Bass
Record Label: Mighty Music / Target Distribution


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