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Nervous Decay – Nervous Decay Award winner

Nervous Decay
Nervous Decay
by Alex Barnard at 24 June 2021, 10:58 PM

Brace yourselves, old school Death Metal fans; there’s a new kid in town! NERVOUS DECAY is a Death Metal band from Nantes, France that has mastered the sound of the Tampa Bay Metal scene. The band’s self-titled debut album was released on Great Dane Records on April 2, 2021, and as they say in France, “Quel début!” (what a debut for the non-francophone readers)

Punishing does not even begin to describe the tracks on “Nervous Decay.” From the first riff on “Cerberus’ Brace,” to the last moment of “Lobotomy,” I found myself unable to stop headbanging. Gregoire Bonin and Nathan Thebault’s dual guitar work combines the intensity of MORBID ANGEL’s Trey Azagthoth with the melodic technicality of Chuck Schuldiner during DEATH’s “Human” era; Guillaume Pavaillon’s voice sounds like a devilish mix of fellow vocalist/bassists Jeffrey Walker of CARCASS and Glen Benton of DEICIDE; and I’m sure Guilhem Lesage’s ferocious drumming would make TERRORIZER’s Pete Sandoval proud.

The key to this record’s brilliance, however, lies not in the fact that it is a nostalgia trip for fans of the early works of groups like OBITUARY and AUTOPSY, but rather its application of those influences to our unique moment in time. “Daily Poison,” for example, takes a leering look at the deleterious effects of capitalism on society, and how we are all essentially “paid slaves.” The dissonant riffs accompany the ferocity of the lyrics perfectly, and Pavaillon’s bass solo in the middle of the track is truly inspired. “Doomsday Clock” similarly deals with societal issues, with the group taking a page out of the GOJIRA handbook by discussing climate change and injecting their own pessimistic take on the subject. Again, the music is an immaculate complement to the despair expressed in the lyrics, with the riffs occasionally hinting at influences from VOIVOD’s Piggy. Additionally, the little clean passage injected briefly into the middle of the track allows a decidedly jazz-y influence to shine through in Lesage’s drumming, making him the true heir to the throne vacated by CYNIC’s Sean Reinert after his untimely passing in 2020.

Another highlight of this album is the title track, with its multiple time signature and tempo changes and intense riffing. The opening of the track, however, is probably my favorite part, as the fake radio station dialogue had me actually laughing out loud. The album’s closer, “Lobotomy,” is another standout moment, as the gory imagery and brutal opening are absolutely strenuous on the eardrums but in the best way possible. The dynamic change in the middle is a wonderful addition to the song as well, and the tempo increase as Pavaillon screams the word “lobotomy” over and over again is a fantastic touch.

Honestly, NERVOUS DECAY might end up taking a spot among my top ten favorite Death Metal bands. If “Nervous Decay” is a sign for things to come, I will be impatiently awaiting the group’s next release!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Cerberus’ Brace
2. Daily Poison
3. Mirrors of Pain
4. Nervous Decay
5. Shield of Delusion
6. Doomsday Clock
7. Lobotomy
Guillaume Pavaillon – Vocals/Bass
Gregoire Bonin – Guitar
Nathan Thebault – Guitar
Guilhem Lesage – Drums
Record Label: Great Dane Records


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