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Nerve Saw – Peril

Nerve Saw
by Aurora Kuczek at 20 April 2020, 9:45 PM

From an idea of the earliest hues, NERVE SAW’s newest release, “Peril,” exhibits a seemingly strange mixture between death metal and punk. This 2010 project creates old-school makeup and patterns that resemble the musical times of the early nineties, and mid-eighties. Combining metal and punk is obviously not unheard of, but it is something that is not fused very often. Perhaps it is because of judgement, or the way the product will sound. Nevertheless, it is my belief that “Peril” adequately combines these two forces to make a piece that sounds as if it was produced during the changing times of genres. Markus wanted to create something that differed from the normality, as conventional death metal remakes were a bit too plain for his liking. This mainly unexplored region is what this Finnish metal band sought to achieve in their production.

A Fool” begins the album with a more-so metalcore style. The voice shrieks as the drums drone on. One can understand that this is something of the past, but there is something heavier about the way the track is produced. There are few riffs as the vocals become clear, and the drums guide the piece. “Life Goes On…Not” doesn’t have the typical layers of death metal, but has the darkened sounds that comes with the genre. It reminisces of cold air and wide eyes. A man sits reading in a bookstore that is full of dust. There is no one but him, and he is not immersed in the book he holds. The piece is high pitched, and the guitars become stringy at the end as the cords become looser.

No Lead” fashions toward more punk creations. There is a double kick, and a solemn riff. The eeriness weighs heavy on the man shoulders, but it is nothing too unique. He puts the book back, and takes out another one and sits back down. “The Red Line” starts with static that carries through like charged particles in the air. There is an electric pulsing as the words continue. The pulsating energy moves through the album with only a trace of thread. Shouts close the track. “Ghosts in Dialogue” carry the ideas left in the previous track, but changes the tunes and ideals. Typical punk drumming resounds in the foreground with high pitched guitars sliding around. It begins simple, but melodies are often modified as the song continues. The track breakdowns to just a voice and the man puts down his book to walk outside. Nothing seemed to entertain him anymore in his old age, and he sits down on the storefront steps waiting for something to happen.

Empty Heart” focuses on the drums, with a melody that sounds familiar. The bass is also a focal point, and it is strung low. The piece goes up and down in frequencies, and as it changes pace, one can hear the fanaticalness of the era. “Nails” features quite a few breakdowns of the piece, and bass reverberations singing through the lines. There is an almost complicated riff, that looks out of place for the overall situation. The man notices a bus coming towards him and he decides to get on with the change he has in his pocket. “Last Verse For The Buried” features a mere spookiness with similar bass and drum patterns. There is a chorus of a few voices to emphasize the noise around it. The man takes a seat near the driver. It is almost sunset, and there is only one other person on the bus. He gets off at the next stop.

P.I.A.T” starts the mood with fast rhythmic guitars. Higher notes combat the lower climbing riffs. It is executed well here, as the repetition of sounds heard earlier disguises itself well. It ends with a sudden voice. “The Eye Of The Golem” is typical of the early musical setting. It is punk rooted. The notes and the tempo of the voice complement each other. Sounds are almost under water, as the higher notes drown them. It gets abstract here, moving a bit away from the original sounds. Guitars space out a bit as the man walks three blocks home. He finds himself in his closet apartment with no space for a full bed. He takes his shoes off and waits for the sun to finally set. “Wolves Of The 80s” begins with feedback, and the sounds begin to explode. The breakdowns feature no drum parts, but catchy rhythms. The pace and the demeanor are varied in the piece, as the frequencies change. It ends with a trailing of a voice. The man lies down to go to bed. He can hear faint laughter. This makes him smile.

NERVE SAW’s “Peril,” is something that is perfectly categorized for a time period that most have forgotten. Combining any two very distinct genres is a challenge, but this a different challenge that few have done. Keeping the drums at a punk setting and changing the melodies to fit death metal, makes the sound not too out of the ordinary, and keeps the rhythms on track. The melodies were catchy and the album was executed fairly well.

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

4 Star Rating

1. A Fool
2. Life Goes On… Not
3. No Lead
4. The Red Line
5. Ghosts in Dialogue
6. Empty Heart
7. Nails
8. Last Verse for the Buried
9. P.I.A.T.
10. The Eye of the Golem
11. Wolves of the 80's
Markus Makkonen - Vocals/Bass
Heikki Matero - Guitars
Michael Dorrian - Drums
Record Label: Testimony Records


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Edited 02 December 2022

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