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Nemecic – The Last Magic in Practice

The Last Magic in Practice
by Mark Machlay at 17 February 2022, 1:41 AM

Finnish death/thrash metal group NEMECIC unleashed their second full-length album “The Last Magic in Practice” via Inverse Records this past Autumn, their first with new vocalist Aki Salonen, and seem to be putting a positive step forward after a member change. Pronounced like “Nemesis” except with a Greek spelling, the band got their start in 2005 attempting to combine elements of different metal genres into their music. Their first couple of Eps – “Vigorous Fire and Inward Lightnings” in 2009 and “The First Morning and the Last Day” in 2011 – certainly had very strong death/thrash metal influences. Unfortunately, shortly after releasing their second EP, the band went into a bit of a hiatus in 2012 and saw a couple lineup changes. They emerged once again in 2017 with their first full-length album “THE DEATHCANTATION” with a decidedly more melodic tinge to their sound, often being compared to bands such as LAMB OF GOD, FEAR FACTORY, and even ALICE IN CHAINS.

Seeing their first full-length as a bit of a “practice work” NEMECIC quickly set about committing to their sound with a follow-up. They admit that they are not a particularly productive band, but they didn’t want to wait 5 years between albums and were able to create the first two demos for “Invocation for the Muse” and “Crowing of Swans” in the spring/summer of 2019 and committing to writing an album by booking a studio in early 2020. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit and while it made full band rehearsals difficult, they continued, undeterred with the writing process. What they created with “The Last Magic in Practice” was a concept album that, as drummer Niko Anttila put it, “deals with the emotions and mind-states one goes through creating something artistic and thus exposing oneself for others to evaluate and judge.” There are also plenty of occult and magical themes – as the title suggests – running through the album as well. Anttila adds, “this album is a kind of an extended philosophical ramble wrapped in occult guise with mythology and magic sprinkled on top of it.”

For a sophomore effort from a band that seems to be evolving out of a previous genre pigeon-holing, NEMECIC’s “The Last Magic in Practice” is a powerful statement, a strong step forward and only hindered by the slightly fatiguing production. I’ll address that last part right away by saying that I really enjoyed the crossing of genres but found the guitar tone a bit painful on my ears – and this may be due to the review mix that I was given – but after listening the first time found my ears a bit in pain only upon taking my headphones off for the first time. My own issues with the production aside, the album is filled with catchy, hooky riffs, consistently strong distorted – while being intelligible - vocals and a damn heavy good time. The unrelenting and riff heavy opening track “Hekau” leads expertly into most recent single “Dodecahedron Avenue” which has a similar energy but is much more inventive and uses some panning and other production tricks that more than make up for my issues with the overall production. I understand their want to be free of labels and eschew the “melodic death metal” and they certainly don’t have as many leads, but they have plenty of almost progressive rhythmic elements and a strong knack for guitar solo hooks that they defy genre labels. Take for example the almost tribal drumming and creative use of rhythmic punctuation on “Crowning of Swans” while also borrowing some melodic vocal qualities similar to TRIVIUM. Another example would be the truly enigmatic ending track “Orbis de Ignis” starting out almost like a LINKIN PARK anthem, going through a significant quiet section, then following through with an anthemic, melodic chorus into a crazy wah-filled guitar solo. I hope NEMECIC continue with their particular brand of melodic tinged death/thrash metal but wish some more clarity could be given in the next mix.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Hekau
2. Dodecahedron Avenue
3. Crowning of Swans
4. Sphinx
5. Galateia
6. Hypersigil
7. Invocation for the Muse
8. The Chatter of Teeth
9. Dream Machine
10. Orbis de Ignis
Niko Anttila – Drums
Pasi Rajakillio – Guitars
Tuomo Salonen – Guitars
Emil Borg – Bass
Aki Salonen – Vocals
Record Label: Inverse Records


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Edited 26 November 2022

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