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The Nether Hell
Released: 2005, Self Release
With a sound which harkens back to the glory days of the 80s, while at the same time possessing enough heaviness and intensity to keep up with any of the day's current crop of thrashers. This self released promotional six tracker is the follow up the band's debut, "The Ultimate Encore" and kicks things off in righteous fashion with a one-two metallic KO in the form of "Creatures That Come Alive in the Dark", and "Warfare", two tracks which place front and center the band's Bay Area-cum-Germany style of Thrash Metal.
Both tracks place front and center the scorching guitar work of Alex Zeraib and lead axeman Edu Boccomino, whose shredding solos are complimented fiercely by Zeraib's sense of harmony. My main problem lies with the band's vocalist, however. When Regis F. is screaming in the tried and true underground death/thrash style, all is well; it's only when he attempts this off-key semi-shout where he becomes a hindrance to the band.
Failed attempts at "choruses" aside, the band's songwriting is extremely brutal, while not venturing too much into Death Metal territory. No, THE NETHER HELL sounds more akin to a modernized take on the classic sounds of Exodus' FABULOUS DISASTER or Kreator's TERRIBLE CERTAINTY than any tech-death foray, with the 80s vibe firmly and enjoyably in check.
While the drums claim to be recorded by a Fabricio Ravelli, they sound a bit too Pro-Tooled and clicky for my liking. To be honest, I am tempted to scream "DRUM MACHINE!", but I guess South American fans who have seen these metallers live will be able to attest as to whether they can cut the mustard live or not. The accompanying booklet DOES contain some boss live pictures, so it seems the band is at least doing SOMETHING right.
While the drum and vocal performances do become an issue by the time the listener gets about half way through this disc, THE NETHER HELL isn't so long an effort that is becomes tiresome. Rather, the band's sheer energy and enthusiasm carry this disc, and display a promise which I hope will shine through the minor discrepencies in their sound. While curious listeners may want to wait a bit before they throw down their hard-earned on this particular disc, I'm pretty confident that Scars will iron out these aforementioned "kinks" and release a much improved follow up on another adventurous independent sometime soon.
1. Creatures That Come Alive in the Dark
3. Nether Hell
4. Legions (forgotten by the gods)
5. Return to the Killing Ground
6. Hidden Roots of Evil
Edu Boccomino-lead guitar
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