Nowen - Nothing But Hate
Violent Journey Records
Death/Thrash Metal
9 songs (38:02)
Release year: 2010
Nowen, Violent Journey Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Nowen is one of the most persistent bands I know from the massive Finnish underground scene. After forming over 10 years ago and putting out demos and EPs in the process, they finally received a record deal last year and are now releasing their debut album, the quite aptly titled Nothing But Hate. On second thought, call it false advertising, just a little – there is more than hate to be found here.

Instead of rising things slowly from a mellow mood to vicious, the Intro on this record seems to say “to hell with it” and bring in the blast beats from the get-go. somewhat slower riffage and sharp lead melodies end when The Sick Weakness breaks out the traditional thrash mayhem in head-pummeling fashion. Dead Meat follows up with a more technical death metal approach and Fragile (not a Sting-cover, in case you’re wondering), goes from clean guitars to balls-to-the-wall death a la late-80s Sepultura, while adding some tempo changes and hooky melodies to keep one guessing.

Bleed, Suffer and Die, After The Suicide and the title track carry on with the thrash metallic beatdowns, splattering intense energy all around. Along with these straight-forward tunes, there are two instrumentals bringing in some flavour. Sofia is a two-n-a-half minute unplugged affair while From Time To Eternity, with from-acoustic-to-heavy mood changes and melodic elements aching to traditional heavy metal to spare, reaches out for far more ambitious grounds.

The band is in tight form to support the growls of singer-guitarist Lappis, who manages to go from the guttural tones to pretty high shrieks. While they are commendably brutal, I’d like to hear something like a Petrozza-esque snarl implemented throughout, something that would pierce through the instrumental mass, as right now the vocals can get a teensy bit muddled in the mix at times. Not that often at all, but on occasion. The production work is interesting in itself. This is the first record in aeons where I actually have had to tone down the bass on my equalizer (yup, love that bass) to prevent it from overtaking the other frequencies. The soundscape is otherwise well-balanced, but this is a textbook album where there isn’t too much sheen and a rawer finish has clearly been the goal. It suits the material very well, and won’t disturb anyone beyond hi-fi wankers (like myself, unfortunately).

Overall, Nowen’s debut album reveals that the rigors of time have forged fierce playing abilities into the band members, who are not content in just producing three-minute moshfests. They do that very well on Nothing But Hate, but also try out many different elements. While said elements are not gelling nearly perfectly yet, they should produce impressive results when honed with patience – a virtue that this group seems to have no shortage of.

Killing Songs :
The Sick Weakness, Fragile, Bleed, Suffer and Die & After The Suicide
Aleksie quoted 77 / 100
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