I really start to ask myself, how many Symphonic/Gothic Metal bands a country can spawn before it implodes. I am talking about the Netherlands, which after truly countless representatives of this style fire out yet another newcomer with NEMESEA, this one via Ebony Tears Records. And they do not only have six regular musicians, but on top of that a string trio and a six-headed choir.
And after the intro “Nemesis“ “Threefold Law“ marches ahead in best tradition of early AFTER FOREVER (minus the growls), fast, symphonic, with big choir (that sings in Latin here) and Manda Ophuis’ crystal clear, high voice, originality almost zero, but so dynamically buzzing through the ears that you start to feel all giddy. Main songwriter Hendrik Jan de Jong manages to combine the symphonic bombast with enough guitar power to keep even “real” Metallers at bay.
“Angel In The Dark“ shows a slightly different side of the NEMESEA sound, rather coming from the balladesque side, incorporating some well timed faster passages as well, very good song! On the four-part “Mortalitas” they show lots of ambitions, uniting the different aspects of the NEMESEA sound into an emotionally very dense composition that shows that NEMESEA are more than just a copy of the pioneers and have quite some potential, while “Lucifer“ is the heaviest track on “Mana”, where quite passages are contrasted by surprisingly very heavy guitars, which we do not get often in Symphonic Metal, should be tried more often, very strong track!
And the booklet, too, is outstanding, each song has its own layout that greatly fits into the overall context, visualizing the nature of the song, making NEMESEA’s debut an experience that goes beyong just the music, while the clear, powerful production gives the songs the space and volume they need to unfold their full greatness.
As said, originality is not really NEMESEA’s biggest strength, but they already now go beyond the sheer following the leaders, bringing in accents of their own, convincing through variability and dynamics. I personally am already looking forward to the second album, because then the Dutchmen should have been able to build on their identity, a recommendation already goes out to genre fans! (Online September 9, 2005)