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Nemesis Alpha - Eternal Machines

Nemesis Alpha
Eternal Machines
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 07 October 2019, 3:55 AM

NEMESIS ALPHA is a Melodic Death Metal band from North Carolina.  It began as a solo project/one-man band from RUDY LEAL (ex-SHATTERED SUN), who wrote, recorded, and produced all the music on their first self-titled debut album.  SOILWORK’s Bjorn “Speed” Stride performed all the vocals. “Eternal Machines,” is their second full length with some line-up changes.  Rudy is still the mastermind behind it all but recruited Joseph Church to help with song writing, guitars, and keyboards.  In addition, Stride shares vocal duties with SHATTERED SUN vocalist Marcos Leal.

Stride is in top form, as usual.  The latest SOILWORK album from earlier this year is pretty damn good so it is nice to know that he isn’t easily burn out; his performance on this album is as powerful as anything he has done.   As for Marcos, he does a much better job than I thought he would.  I saw SHATTERED SUN live not long ago and was not even slightly entertained.  But his voice seems to lend itself better to MDM than the more Metalcore approach of his main band—he does put in an enjoyable performance.

Musically, Church and Rudy deliver the melodies, harmonies, and solos that one would expect with this type of band.  There isn’t anything innovative about it but it is extremely solid and the two definitely know what they are doing.  The production helps a lot—it is very loud and clear which helps all the intricate guitar work.  There isn’t any problem with being able to pick apart the various guitar riffs and melodies as they weave in and out with each other.  Unfortunately, this also takes out some of the bite of it all, especially the rhythm and bass sections.

The opening track, “Buried Under,” comes to life with Stride’s infamous growl.  The song is energetic with everything turned up to eleven.  The song’s best part is the chorus, which is catchy as anything I’ve heard this year. The band is at its best when they get more intense than the sub-genre usually calls for.  The aptly titled “Havoc” is a whirlwind of machine gun drums, intense riffage, and tight melodies.  The Spanish guitar towards the end was really unexpected but also very welcome.

Blood Pact,” is a barn burner of a track especially with the blistering way the two vocalists trade off their lines.  For those fans missing Stride’s vocal style from the first two SOILWORK albums, this is as close as you can get. The album’s halfway point is highlighted by “Burning Blue,” a track that showcases how well Marcos’s voice works with this style.  He and Stride make a surprisingly great combo together and if this band plays live, I could see this one being a live favorite.

One of the deeper cuts, “Nocturnal Affliction,” is one of the album’s best songs.  The melodies at the song’s start are wonderful and Stride spits out his lyrics with pure venom and the speed that gave him the nickname. My major complaint about this album is the length.  With fourteen songs at one hour and fourteen minutes, this isn’t an easy pill to swallow.  There aren’t any bad tracks, but it is still a battle to listen to this one in one setting.  Certain genres lend themselves to long albums: Prog, Doom, and anything Post.  But for Melodic Death Metal, I think about 40 minutes is that sweet spot.

All in all, while it isn’t anything mind blowing or innovative, this is an above average MDM album, especially if you’re a fan of either of the vocalists.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Buried Under
2. Havoc
3. Soul Deceiver
4. Altered State
5. System Override
6. Blood Pact
7. Burning Blue
8. Defy
9. The Cleansing
10. Nocturnal Affliction
11. This Resolve
12. Eternal Machines
13. Chaos Defined
14. Bloodline
Lineup:
Rudy Leal – Guitars, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals
Joseph Church – Guitars, Keyboards
Bjorn “Speed” Stride – Vocals
Marcos Leal – Vocals
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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