The Nika Riots - Set Fire - (7/10)
Published on April 16, 2018
Named after the Nika Revolt (or Nika Riots) that took place in 532 AD in Constantinople, the band The Nika Riots do their best to capture a tumultuous event in audio form. Hailing from Oslo, Norway, these five have set January as the release of their debut EP, Set Fire via Negative Vibe Records. Combining metal and hardcore, the band churn through six tracks in less than 20 minutes, but manage to show a nice sense of melody along with their heavier approach.
There are plenty of riffs on this EP, and the band captures the spirit of hardcore pretty well. There is a good sense of social commentary, combined with fast guitars and barking vocals. However, the band is able to add in a nice bit of melody as well, where the choruses tend to be a more clean vocal approach. The opening track for instance has a near punk vibe to it in addition to the hardcore, and as the album progresses you can hear a definite punk influence to the metal and hardcore. The riffs are at times catchy, and the drums provide a nice groove to the album, giving off plenty of energy and movement to the songs, but the barking vocals still manage to capture some anger.
The back and forth with the vocals comes as possibly the more interesting side of the release. Screams are a plenty on this release, but the near clean vocals in the chorus take things to a near pop-punk territory. While not as saccharine as those bands, the sing along style of the chorus feels a bit more poppy next to the generally more hardcore part of the record. This is not a bad thing by any means, as the album in enjoyable in all aspects, and ultimately becomes something you can go back and re-listen to multiple times. These guys clearly know how to take their influences and combine it all into a nice package, and it’ll be interesting to see how things progress on a full-length.
While Set Fire may be a fairly short release, it is a good way to get an idea of what these five are looking to do with their brand of hardcore/punk. Each track has memorable moments and the overall release it pretty catchy and just enjoyable. The Nika Riots have shows they are a band to keep an eye on, and while this release may not have changed the game or anything, this a solid slab of music that fans of the genre should check out for sure.