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Nug - Alter Ego Award winner

Alter Ego
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 July 2020, 11:30 AM

NUG is a Ukrainian Post-Metal/Progressive Metal band founded in 2017 by Jevgen Tarasenko and Yurii Popov. The name of the band originates from Cthulhu's forefather and pronouncing as - \[nʌg]. Their newest album, “Alter Ego,” contains eight tracks.

“The Birth” leads off the album. It’s a short, mood-setting instrumental, with fat ominous notes and some background ambiance. The tones are ominous, like something is out there in the darkness, waiting to strike. “Beast” is over seven-minutes in length. Thick, heavy guitars lead off the song, along with fat bass guitar notes and guttural utterances for vocals. The tones slow to just steady bass notes and a little guitar around the half-way mark. Then, it turns to utter madness, as the vocals are dialed up a notch and the instruments are on eleven.

“Psyche” is another shorter song, with a hastened pace. It is dark and has some Industrial tones from the sterility in the guitars. The vocals are absolutely raging. “Shores” is just over seven-minutes in length. It opens slowly, like peeling back the layers of the planes of Hell. In the background, suspenseful tones build. The main riff drops hard, and chugs a bit, over intense vocals and some ambiance in the background. It ends with bone-crushing guitar notes. “Eleven” is exactly eight minutes long. Opening again with the ability to build on those dark tones, it moves slowly, like a lumbering woolly mammoth wandering a frozen landscape. The skies are ever-grey, and there isn’t a sign of life out there anywhere. The intensity of the vocals increases, while the instruments maintain a melancholy tone throughout.

“Dorian” is just over seven-minutes in length. It opens with the thudding of bass guitar notes, nefarious vocals, and big guitar accents, almost like something you might here in the Doom Metal genre. It builds into an intensely murky affair. “Radiance” opens again with soft tones, and promises sure death. Bass guitar notes move the song forward, along with raging vocals and melodic guitar notes. The juxtaposition of the two here is well done. It settles into a groove, of a massive riff so large you can’t see over it. “Night Shine” closes the album, opening with clean guitar notes, and an air of mystery. When the big riff hits, it pulverizes everything in its path. It slows around the half-way mark, with tense guitar strikes. There is a long fade-out at the end.

On “Alter Ego,” NUG have created a very dark world. One where suffering and death is sure to find its way to you. Darkness doesn’t begin to describe the tones on the album. They go far beyond the darkness to a world beyond that you can’t even imagine what horrors await you. It’s like the relentless cold winds of Antarctica screaming in your face, and slowly freezing you to death. This is an amazing album from front to back.

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

4 Star Rating

1. The Birth
2. Beast
3. Psyche
4. Shores
5. Eleven
6. Dorian
7. Radiance
8. Night Shine
Yura Dubrovskyi
Vitaliy Rysakov
Bogdan Kalynets
Jevgen Tarasenko,
Yurii Popov
Record Label: Willowtip Records


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