Released: 2010, Tiefdruck Musik
Reviewer: Stu Occupier
Formed in May 2006 by Adrian and Amber, NEMHAIN have so far had 5 line up changes, released one EP BLOOD RUNS FREE late in 2006, contributed to 3 compilation CDs, played gigs in America and Holland plus a couple of festivals and 50 UK gigs. Last year they went to Sweden and recorded their debut album, originally due for release late last year but postponed due to Adrian's touring commitments with Paradise Lost.
What we have here is 12 of the darkest, disturbing and at times twisted songs I have ever heard. These songs of abuse, revenge, drugs and sex put people like Marilyn Manson to shame, devastatingly brilliant. Starting with 'From The Ashes' the song is punctuated by a great riff and there is no question that it is drum driven as Adrian pounds the hell out of the poor kit. The song is clearly one of defiance, "Hate what you think I am, I'll use your hate to make you drown". 'Ana' has a nice guitar intro but then Amber screams 1,2,3,4 and it just blasts through the speakers, always loved this song about the beauty queen who wants to be a star but ends up dead after drug addiction. A Sabbath/Zeppelin feel greets 'Clear My Eyes' this has that epic quality about it and it lives up to that task with ease but being Nemhain it gets that blues stained punk rock treatment. Amber's vocal style is sultry, it has a kind of evil glamour about it. A brilliant song about a destructive relationship best summed up with the line "make me sick to look at you" great solo from Lakis as well. The cover of the Gits 'Second Skin' was the idea of Lakis, and a great one, the song sits perfectly with the Nemhain ethos. The song features a guest vocal from The Haunted's Pete Dolving, and boy does this one rock.
The moody 'Girls Like Honey' is next, another dark and brilliantly written song about an abuse victim turned prostitute, its heavy ballad quality moves superbly with those lyrics, I mean this is serious stuff, "Daddy I want to hurt you, you fucked me in the head, why did you go leaving me bleeding on the bed". Inspired by Helen Zahavi's disturbing book of revenge and murder by a woman in Brighton, 'Dirty Weekend' is an upbeat rocker with a catchy chorus. 'Jane Doe #1' has a weird intro that sounds like some squeaky metal object with guitar over it. I think we could be in serial killer or necrophilia territory here, or perhaps both, "I'm addicted, I'm afflicted, black hair, dead stare, masturbated, so wasted", whatever its about it's pretty disturbing.
My favourite Nemhain song is up next, 'Heroin Child', this is a much more refined version that first appeared back in 2006, it's raw and alive, full of anger and energy, Amber's voice is just perfect, the drums retain the backbone, the bass is punchy and the guitar is screaming! Up next is 'Mr Bronson', a song about drugs but the lyric reminds us "His price is as high as the price of your pain", just as JJ Cale wrote the anthem in the 70s, Nemhain have written it for this generation. 'Babylonia' is a completely new song written for the album, it's a moody, brooding and damn right evil, nasty as anything piece, some great slide guitar from Lakis. Possibly the angriest song on the album "You paint your face with roses and vitriol". Originally called the 'Hate Song', the Motorhead-like 'The Filth And The Fury' comes hammering through my headphones, full volume of course, this song's pretty angry as well and another dark tale of revenge and twisted love and violence involving a blow torch.
Finally that driving Motorhead vibe again for the classic 'Speed Queen', always a live favourite and now finally on disc in perfect form (It was on the 2006 EP, but this version blows it away). This just ends the album so well, now everybody after me..."Amphetamines are in my dreams, don't need no sleep for this machine'.