Released: 2015, Unsigned
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Metal in the old vein has always been a general hit or miss thing these days, it's not about how you can capture a sound (or even if it resembles the work of the genre's pioneers) it's more about your own individual flair, giving each of your nuances the chance to feed on the brains of your listeners. The ability to both refine a sound made infamous so long ago and simultaneously bring it into the year 2015 is a difficult and rewarding task, especially when in short bursts. This makes Nex's 'Totalitarian Leader' a prime example of modern death, teetering on its technical elements and in turn makes this three-tracked EP such a great listen.
Because 'Totalitarian Leader' is only three tracks in length it's easy to cover all the bases. A whole 12 minutes filled with the murk of vintage Vader, virtuosity of Death and yet fills the gaps with a challenging level of technicality often misused by modern death acts. Nex have pulled out a fine EP, bolstered by its brief run-time, a staggering 12 minutes. 'Totalitarian Leader' revels in its shortness, placating the fans of the genre without becoming dull, overbearing or repetitive. The EP is simply too short to allow any of that to happen. "Ten Tables Of Faith" is a clever slab of blast beats, groove and titanic atmosphere. By the time the growls kick in, the head-banging is already infectious. The technicality behind the instrumentation allows for the guttural roars of Sova to fill every stereotype of the genre.
Even the EP's opener (and band named) "Nex" sets the foundation in stone. Atmospheric soundscapes crash in the background, creating tension and pressure and while it's the longer track on the release, it's certainly not out of place with the tracks that follow. The music is intense, shaped and yet remains jagged enough that 'Totalitarian Leader' remains "real". It's important to keep some of the genre's staple grit, rather than stale the entire recording with a soul-sucking million dollar recording process. For me I'm noticing a trend within Polish music, i.e. it's fucking awesome. Poland must be a hot spot, or we simply didn't know how great this actually is.
Overall this entire EP is better than great. It's a short burst of some of the year's best death metal. Sure, the guys know they're not heavy weights. They don't care. You just need to listen.