Compilations, best-of albums and collections of rare and unreleased material tend to irk those who are not familiar with the band. Indeed, such things lend themselves better to established fans, desperate to get the sweaty palms on every crumb of material a band has released. Therefore, coming at this from an outsider’s perspective, NOMINON’s “Remnants Of A Diabolical History” suffers much of the same problems that this format highlights. For example, there are obviously variances in sound quality and recording style, some ‘unreleased’ tracks have riffs which are really the dog’s leftovers and the ‘album’ lacks any sense of flow or direction.
However, while accepting the above criticisms as almost universal for such releases, I can appreciate what I have here for what it is: Dirty, rhythmic Swedish Death Metal primarily in the old vein of DISMEMBER and GRAVE. However, because they developed late, there are significant differences from the norms of the period. Indeed, while the characteristic use of Heavy Metal melodic elements remains, there is little or no trace of the simplistic shifting power chords of British Hardcore Punk that formed an essential element in the style’s development. Their late arrival has resulted in more and different influences, some more brutal and some more Black. However, for a band formed in 1993, they have remained remarkably true to their roots, and can still write some individual pieces of solid, no-nonsense Swedish Death Metal that I for one will always appreciate.
This release contains unreleased material, most of which is of an average standard, three well executed covers of VOIVOD, WHIPLASH and REPULSION, tracks from EPs and different versions of others contained on their past releases. The later two make up the best of the material, providing an enjoyable, slightly characteristic take on a classic sound. Enjoyable, but by no means essential, yet it does inspire a desire to investigate more their more fluid and purposeful releases. Judging by this, the albums may be of some worth.
(Online March 15, 2007)