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Nitrogods - Rebel Dayz Award winner

Rebel Dayz
by Max Elias at 01 June 2019, 11:30 PM

NITROGODS, or ‘German Motorhead’, have been chugging along with their vicious riff-based hard rock for three albums now, and ‘Rebel Dayz’ is no exception. The reason I call them German Motorhead is the vocals are uncannily similar to Lemmy. The comparison is an apt one especially on this album, as the first track roars in with an undeniably Motorhead-esque main riff. ‘Zoom the Broom’ continues the upbeat-but-hell-raising riffage. This is a more modern-sounding song, less strictly primal a la Motorhead. The solo is short, but bluesy and energetic exactly the way hard rock should be. Also like hard rock should be, the song is pretty short and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

As the first single they put out for this album, ‘We’ll Bring the House Down’ should be pretty special. It has all the stomping riffage you’d expect from the last couple tracks (as well as their other albums if you’re familiar with them), but introduces an infectious gang-chant dynamic—even with the hoarse Lemmy impersonator on the mic, this works pretty well. ‘415 DV’ is probably the closest I’ve heard to Henny Wolter actually trying to sing instead of growl. He doesn’t have a ‘pretty’ voice, but if he did this would be glam metal, which it is absolutely not. Nitrogods will never put out a ballad, but the song has quieter parts and buildup as opposed to being straight-ahead fury, which shows variety, always a refreshing thing in hard rock. Then ‘Get Lost’ comes on and it’s back to classic Nitrogods; the vocals are harsh, the riffs groove hard, and the leads are drenched in 70s/80s hard rock glory. This song in particular features some head-turning soloing. If I had to guess I would say this was their homage to the 80s ‘guitar superstar’ bands without coming off as campy or cliché.

It’s hard to articulate what makes it different, but from the first note of ‘It’s Not Your Rock ‘N’ Roll’, I’m banging my head like a teenager just discovering AC/DC. The song captures what I love so much about this band; don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate Motorhead, but aside from a few songs they don’t have a lot of catchy riffs. Here we have in my opinion an elevated and updated Motorhead—and yes, I know that if I published my email, that sentence would get me death threats. The repeated lick opening ‘Blind as a Stone’ will stick in my head for a while. It reminds me a little of the intro to ‘Blow by Blow’ by Rhino Bucket. The overall song is more-laid back, with a lot of focus put on the solo, coming in at around the 3-minute mark. Every great rock band needs to write about getting epically drunk now again, as the refrain of ‘carry me home, carry me home, I’m too wasted, to walk alone’ attests.

‘Roadwork Ahead’ is like if early ZZ Top had more grit to it. The bluesy groove is irresistible and even the lead playing reminds me a little bit of Billy Gibbons if he showed off more. There are only a handful of great bluesy hard rock bands out there, as it’s a harder niche to fill than it sounds. Nitrogods are able to pull off every side of the hard rock canon. Right down to the subject matter (think Bomber-era) ‘Murder is A Ritual’ is classic Motorhead in 2019. I think we all wish Lemmy had never died, right?

It should be pretty obvious right about now that I love this band. They’ve been around for a while and they always deliver what they promise, which is no-holds-barred (which doesn’t mean there’s no melody) rock and roll. These Germans might not change too much album-to-album, but not out of lack of creativity. Suffice to say they definitely need to be bigger than they are; they have contemporaries, like Airbourne, that have toured the US, yet these guys don’t leave Europe really. Most of their shows are in their native Germany.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. We, the Bastards
2. Ancient Rites
3. Nuclear Revenge
4. Victims of the Black Flame
5. Cursed are our Marks
6. Last Beer
7. On my Cold Grave
8. Lucifer’s Slave
9. Cross The Gate
10. Burn the Holy Cross
11. From Aethernity to Conquest
Henny Wolter - Guitar/Vocals
Oimel Larcher - Vocals/bass
Klaus Sperling - Drums
Record Label: Steamhammer SPV


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