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Created from Nothing
July 2011
Released: 2011, Unsigned
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

It’s not every day you see metal album artwork depicting metamorphosis between a man and a tree. But the title accompanying the visuals of Bromley’s brutal boys’ latest magic suggests something more than a chronology of Pantheism, or some Pagan-extolling, old-man-on-a-cloud Bible slammer. (Although, let’s face it, after the latest Rapture embarrassment, this wouldn’t surprise anyone. Sorry God.) Well, we’re all essentially ‘Created from Nothing’; it just depends what you continue to create after you get here. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what the mighty Bloodstock and Wacken-slaying Snakebite have to say.

This, their 9-track sophomore effort, delivers a punch and a half to the kisser – but for reasons greater than its ability to bust the decibel-meter sky-high. The, and I quote, “gargantuan” riffs of first offering ‘Never Grow’, are still there by the bucket-load. But they've gotten complex: the writing, content and song structures are more sophisticated; the techniques and effects more eclectic; the pace more relentless. It’s the brooding and refined, but equally passionate older brother to its predecessor. You’d better believe it: it’s as intense as hell.

From scorching first-single ‘Monolith’ and stunning fourth track ‘Laplaces Demon’, to Zeppelin-esque wild card “Back to the Sun”, ‘Created from Nothing’ is a 46 minute, 55 second safari through military belligerence and artistic fervour. It’s technically intricate, and practical dexterity shines throughout. But what strikes compositionally is the number of sources of inspiration aired. Southern grooves meet blast-beats; bluesy, modal and harmonic axe-twiddlings are paired with ball-blistering growls: their contrast of instrumental precision and primal energy remains blazing away for round two on disc.

Yet, it’s deeper water. Tonally, the intervals are darker; poetically, self-lacerations are a-plenty: “It’s high time I step out of this mess/I’ve drawn the woes in my head” (‘Hypnos Calling’); “I pretend you were all in my head/But as much as I try, you never were” (‘M.O.A.B.’). This record still upholds the red-seeing, visceral impulse of ‘Never Grow’, but embeds that impulse with the white elephant of realisation and consequence. “In our origins, we were beasts/And in the present, decadence”, proclaims ‘Feral Child’; indeed, Snakebite have always embraced their inner animals, but those animals have become tortured; contemplative – and it’s sexy. ‘Created from Nothing’ compels because the lyrical and vocal determination to capture both the emotion and spirit of its rhythmic fury and subject depth, goes some way to demonstrating the constraints of being, as ‘Feral Child’ once again tremendously puts, the “noble savage[s]” that we all are.

As for comparisons, there are only so many times a critic can drag the words, albeit great ones, “Dimebag Darrell” and “Phil Anselmo” from the woodwork. And Snakebite’s second release proves they’re rich in elements sweeping the quote-un-quote ‘alternative’ prairie; naturally, your riff-heavy club dominate, from Clutch, DOWN and Black Label Society, to Black Sabbath, Metallica and Kyuss. But there are strands of doom, black metal, thrash, stoner, industrial and prog; even drops of Dream Theater, Rob Zombie, Type O Negative and Devin Townsend seep through the speakers into the melting pot.

2011’s ‘Created from Nothing’ is a skull-splitting sensory assault. Its voice is angry; self-assured: it means business. But polished primitivism has become pensive, without compromising aggression. What’s more, it’s a jigsaw of their own sound, which furthers Snakebite’s titanium stamp as rising stars on the metal map, and obliterates the critical misconception that they’re just another Pantera tribute band. And it’s fantastic. Because at the end of the day, as their ‘Feral Child’ declares: “We’re all fuckin’ animals"...

Review by Rhiannon Marley
Track Listing

1. Monolith
2. Lament a Legacy
3. Face Ache
4. Laplaces Demon
5. Skinful of Truth
6. Feral Child
7. Hypnos Calling
8. Back to the Sun
9. M.O.A.B.


Jason Smith: Vocals
Jamie Nash: Bass
Cris Finniss: Drums
Andrew Matthews: Guitar

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» Created from Nothing
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