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Released: 2005, Sphére de feu/MMS Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
I was contacted by the lead signer of Nerved Emil Gammeltoft and he asked me if I was interested of reviewing the bands debut album, which I said I was and the album came in the mail a few weeks later. I’ve had it for a while now and listened to it a lot in order to give it a fair judgement which I think I’m capable to give by now.
According to the info provided have this Stockholm based band released this debut album on their own label Sphére de feu, distributed in Sweden by MMS Records.
Nerved consists of 4 members and to get back to the bio it says that the guys plays a mix between the old and the new rock school, is it just me that looks like a question mark when I read this description?, and according to themselves they play concrete rock. I think that these 4 gentlemen plays heavy 70’s retro rock with an updated sound, add to that a dose of heavy varied riff oriented hardrock that can be lead to the 80/90’s. It can also be described simply as diesel smelling dirty rock’n’roll or as stoner rock. Their music is pretty hard to describe but I can surely say that all fans of retro rock from the 70’s should take a closer look at this ‘cause you’ll love it.
OFF LINE was recorded by the band members Magnus and Marcus together with Elias Modig in Fred Hell Studio in Stockholm Sweden. The producers have managed to keep the raw, untamed spirit of the 70’s hardrock but they have updated it to be a soundpicture of the 21st century. The guitar player Marcus has the biggest part of the mix along with Emil behind the mic. Magnus and Björn have a steady groove in the rhythm section.
This is a 12 track debut that also features two instrumental tracks called “Intermission 1 – rue Saint-Esprit” and “Intermission 2 – Port Vauban” each on 2 and 1 minutes. Those songs falls definitely out of the frame but maybe those songs are necessary so the listener can get a moment to reflect on what they’ve heard. They have also added a cover by “Expect No Mercy” by Nazareth. I haven’t heard the original song but on the cover they have featured Manny Chariton from Nazareth as a guest lead guitarist. Nerved have brought along another guest on “Can’t bring me down” on guitar, that’s Kalle Moreaus, he’s very well known here in Sweden. That song is a very 70’s oriented hardrock that includes a lot of tempo changes.
The band have written most of the material by themselves but the once that did the most job are Emil and Marcus. If you’re a fan of 70’s retro hardrock I’m sure your going to like this a lot. There’s no doubt what kind of music the band likes private and what their influences are, the material keeps a pretty even standard throughout the album but I think they should have kept the number of songs down to only 10, 12 songs feels a bit to much.
The things that drags down the rating are the number of songs, they should have taken away the instrumental songs, besides that should Emil vary his vocals a bit. He have a tendency of sounding monotonous, if he does that I think he could take the album to a higher level. The cover artwork doesn’t benefit the band at all. The cover looks more like it belongs to a pop/rock band instead of Nerved.
But on the other hand is this album packed with some really strong songs and it sounds like the guys really like what they do and play and that can only be a positive thing.
Nerved gives me a stable impression and for a debut album I think they do a really good job, it’s going to be exiting to hear what they’re up to on the follow up.
Stroke it up
Believe in me
The search (reality)
Expect no mercy
Intermission 1 – rue Saint Esprit
Can’t bring me down
Intermission 2 – Port Vauban
Emil Gammeltoft – lead vocals
Marcus Hanser – guitar
Magnus Stenvinkel – bass
Björn Lundberg – drums