OK, here we go, down the Progressive lane again.
NEVERBORN is an Australian Death Metal band and it takes less than a minute until the listener realises that there is also a whole lot of Progressiveness on “Decimator." This is the third full-length attempt of this band, but they have all been self-released. I am not sure why, but one reason could be that the labels have a hard time grasping the music of this band, because it is fairly different from the rest of the Death Metal scene.
In the band’s official biography, comparisons are made to FEAR FACTORY (because of “kick-driven rhythms”) and MESHUGGAH (because of “unusual timing structures”) and I can agree with that. A very modern production and some similarities to everything from American Death Metal to Screamo, Metalcore or Nu-Metal can also be heard.
I realised instantly that this album was not for me.
The vocals are shrill and Screamo-influenced, there are many weird keyboard effects that sometimes conjure an almost industrial feeling, and the kick-rhythms timed oddly with vocals and uninteresting guitar-work only created annoyance for me.
In my opinion, Death Metal should deliver thundering, heavy-as-hell songs, filled with frenetic drumming, energetic distorted riffing and deep growls. “Decimator” does not do any of this. The riffs are almost impossible to follow, the drumming is an advanced mess, and the vocals don’t have the depth I require from Death growls.
The main problem however, is the damn progressiveness. It tries to create variation but makes records sound the same as all the new rhythms and wild ideas take away the melodies.
However, there are some more positive aspects of the record. The song “Why?," for example, is better and more varied, in the way that I define the term. Some occasional parts, like the drumming inferno in the beginning of the opener and the piano in the closer, are pretty cool. That (and the ferocity with which the band tries to make music) earns them a few points.
Nonetheless, most of the album is sadly lost to mumbo-jumbo. The Progressive plague strikes again!
(Online November 2, 2010)