Released: 2006, Self-financed
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
4 young guys from California, all between 16-17 years of age, formed a band two years ago, name it Nephilim and obviously having their main intention to play Thrash Metal similar to some of their favorite bands from Megadeth to Slayer to Testament to Metallica and so on, but trying to add their own touch into the music they do. Keeping in our minds how young these guys still are, I have to say I´m honestly quite impressed by the fact there´s so much of talent in this group despite of the ages of these four young lads (well, just a tiny reminder the guys of Death Angel were under their twenties when they did THE ULTRA VIOLENCE album, so I guess age ain´t any issue if the talent is there, right folks?).
MORTALITY, this new 6-song, self-financed CD-EP from the guys, – well, saying it only sounds ´promising´, wouldn´t do much justice for them, but rather saying they shred like ´old beasts´ already, but they could still shred even better if they just changed a couple of things. The first thing where they could pay a bit more attention to, is Brian Curtin´s vocal parts. He sounds like he thinks he´s singing in a metalcore band and therefore he kinda ´ruins (maybe too strong word to be used for his vocalism in the songs?)´ the general feeling of the whole outcome. He could try singing a bit more instead of letting this angry bull out of his throat all the time. Sometimes it sounds ok and actually fits into some parts of their songs quite nicely, but in general those growling type of vocals don´t do justice that much for their songs as one might think.
One other thing they could probably pay also some attention to, is not lengthening their songs, let´s say, sort of for the sake of lengthening. The 2nd song on the CD, “The Smell of Napalm in the Mourning” – clocking in at 6:29 mark, is that kind of song which could work slightly better without killing the song´s hard-thrashing atmosphere by slowing down the song for the acoustic parts unnecessarily. For this reason the song tends to sound a bit boring and kills a listener´s interest quite soon.
After some negative, but constructive criticism comes the time again to say a couple of things where Nephilim is good at. The same vocalist-Brian and the other guitarist of Nephilim, Brett Rechtfertig who both also are the 6-string masters in the band, do know how to churn out both killer riffs and well-crafter solos. And if they are self-taught guitarists, then even more impressive because both of these fellows sound like they have been playing their guitars for at least 10 years already. Check out f.ex. such tracks off the CD as “Eye for an Eye” and “Ashes of Pompeii” to become convinced yourself how good they truly are. They do have ´hot ears´ for some nicely catchy riffing, and how overall build up a well-crafted song. The band has already opened for Overkill, so maybe even that fact is something to tell about there´s definitely lotsa potential in Nephilim.
Keep your eyes out for these guys as I believe there´s a good chance we´ll hear a lot of more from them in the future. You just never know... ;o)