Instrumental albums can be a pain in the hoop to review. There, we said it. Not that we’re bereft of ideas when reviewing these things but vocals and lyrics sure do help to convey a message. And, when you’ve been stripped off this asset, it’s often harder to accurately decipher an artists intentions. Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to June 1974‘s Nemesi, an instrumental album whose world building is so absorbing, that you can easily become lost in its sea of tranquility for days!
The brainchild of Visionaire Records founder Federico Romano, Nemesi was mixed and mastered by Tommy Talamanca (he of Italian tech death legends Sadist) at Nadir Studios in March 2018, and is one of the most beautiful albums you’ll hear all year…..and it’s also one of the most unique! Featuring a host of extreme metal guests, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re in for a monumental shred-fest of balls-out heavy metal.
Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Despite welcoming the likes of Andy LaRocque (King Diamond), Patrick Mameli (Pestilence), Jørgen Munkeby (Shining/Ihsahn), Tommy Talamanca (Sadist), Paul Masvidal (Cynic/Death), James Murphy (Obituary/Death/Testament/
Even when “Narcisco” throws in blast beats, it’s still not entirely heavy. How that’s possible is, ironically, almost impossible to convey but there’s an ethereal lightness of touch that transcends being heavy for heavy’s sake.
“Panorma”, featuring Andy LaRocque and Tommy Talamanca, is crunchier, with an industrialised sheen enhancing the softer moments of acoustic clemency while “Death Note” (featuring Pestilence mailman Patrick Mameli) launches into space, taking a progressive slice out of sci-fi and permeating its grooves with an otherworldly feel.
All these tracks are not metal….and yet they do have metallic tendencies. Go figure.
On first listen, surface accusations that Nemesi is a little too ‘samey’ may be true. However, dig deep and you’ll soon realise that this is an album with a distinct personality, offering variances on the same theme or template and conjuring magic from each guest appearance; with each individual offering their own distinctive nuances in order to elevate each track ten-fold.
Fans of latter-day Cynic, Pestilence at their most experimental and Devin Townsend at his most playful will soon realise that this is an album to lose oneself in. Uplifting, surprising, innovative, contemplative; Nemesi is music for those with an adventurous spirit and no care for boundaries. 8/10
June 1974’s Nemesi was released on June 1st, 2018 via Visionaire Records.