Released: 2010, Violent Journey Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Finnish death/thrash combo´s Nowen history dates back to 1999, and within 11 years the band has officially released just one demo (CURSED OR BLESSED) in 2002 - and also one EP (WHERE HELL BEGINS) in 2005.
Now when the year has turned 2010, we can finally get a taste from the band´s debut album titled NOTHING BUT HATE, containing 9 madly raging songs (or actually just 7 to be more precise) that are a mixture of both death and thrash metal, the main emphasis being on the word ´thrash´ though.
Listening to this, it can be said right away that Nowen begs no mercy: Most of the time they have put the pedal to the metal in their songs, counting on quite fast and straightforward tempos, but also being wise enough to spice their songs with a fair amount of melodies, a suitable amount of rhythm changes - and just a good handful of variety that keep things a bit more exciting within the album. What, however, Nowen cannot quite do on their debut, is to convince listeners for having something on their very own on this otherwise pretty kickass record. In fact, they can even be accused of ripping off the Dutch death masters Pestilence in one of their songs - my finger of guilt pointing directly to a song called "Dead Meat", which reminds me slightly of "Land of Tears" off Pestilence´s TESTIMONY OF THE ANCIENTS album - especially that ´one specific riffage´ part. In contrast to the aforementioned "Dead Meat", Nowen has recorded over a 9-minute instrumental song "From Time to Eternity" for this album, which has lots of progressive and acoustic elements in it. It´s a very cool song all in all, showing the band´s willingness to break from the norm at least a little bit. There´s also one entirely acoustic, instrumental song ("Sofia") on the album - played by the band´s main song and lyric writer Lappis, that the band has dedicated to one girl for one reason or the other. No matter how beautiful and sweet it is as an idea, but I honestly think 2 instrumental songs feels a bit unnecessary for an album that lasts less than 40 minutes. The purpose of adding this song into their debut album, obviously is good, but I think they would have done just fine with one instrumental song as well.
One other complain that comes to my mind, is the vocals. They tend to be a teeny-weeny bit monotonous and unfortunately lacking some power, too. As a more positive note, the production values on the album are good. Not any over-polished and plastic sound here, but crisp and raw enough for the style Nowen represents musically.
There´s a fair amount of elements on Nowen´s NOTHING BUT HATE, however, that make me like them quite a bit and suggest everyone else give them a listen. Like already been told in so many lines above, nothing new under the old moon here, but still a good dose of violent and honest fun anyway. Like it.