The picture on the cover says it all. Two feral dogs rip each other’s throats out amidst a desolate landscape of ruined buildings and broken rubble. There isn’t a human in sight anywhere, just broken, empty, ugly urban decay. Nessaria tap into this misanthropic mindset with ease transplanting the dismal outlook of their artwork into an aural nightmare that radiates out from the speakers in a haze of speedy guitar riffs, hatred and pounding drums.
Nesseria, in case you are not yet acquainted with them, are part of the ultra-talented, super-creative wave of artists currently pouring out of France (along with bands such as Gojira) and since 2004 they have been recording and touring with all the dedication of a band utterly possessed by their art. Boasting over 200 shows through most of Europe it is instantly apparent from the opening of the band’s self-titled debut that all the work on the road has allowed them to hone their skills to a razor-sharp point. At only 34 minutes, it’s a short album, but it is also utterly waste-free with every raging blast utterly to the point and designed to inflict the maximum damage in the shortest space of time and in terms of focus, it very nearly tops Slayer’s incisive ‘Reign in blood’ (although musically it is very different) for being utterly ruthless.
Opening with the blistering ‘A ceux qui nous ont laches’, a two-and-a-half minute attack on the senses that is pure death metal but produced in such a way that every instrument is crystal clear, the album starts as it means to go on – like a boot to the face, and it is immediately clear that Nesseria not only have talent but also an awful lot of rage to vent. As if to confirm this ‘Arkhangelsk’ kicks off a furious racket with churning guitars that straddle the divide between Dillinger Escape plan’s wilful artiness and Napalm death’s more forthright approach to grinding odes to malice. It is an awesome song that simply crushes the opposition under its treads before rolling on in search of new victims. Brutal stuff indeed! ‘Havixbecker strabe’ slows the pace to a downbeat trudge through the underside of life. Ugly and nicotine stained it’s rather like glancing through a cellar window to find an S&M meeting taking place behind a thin membrane of filth and crawling insects. Darkly unpleasant and unremittingly heavy it also provides the necessary dynamic to break up the light-speed attack found elsewhere. Of course it doesn’t last long. ‘Par pertes et profits’ is a stunningly fast blitzkrieg that rattles the teeth and sees the vocals veering into increasingly brutal territory.
‘Le quatrieme age’ is a bolt from the blue – still remorselessly heavy it is also slow and melodic in a way that truly underscores Nessaria’s talent. The guitars intertwine, churning in the darkness and even though the main section of the song hurls past at hyper-speed, it is still a strangely spacey piece of music and it is my personal favourite of the ten tracks found here. As if the mood change of the previous piece has affected the band ‘les alternatives’ is also a slower number, with the riffs still coming thick and fast but at a speed which emphasises the brutality of the composition and gives the rhythm section time to draw breath before another headlong plunge into frenzied riffs and drums. ‘Pyramide’ represents such a frenzy and the Dillinger… comparisons are pushed to the fore once more with the jarring time-signatures and full-on attack coming straight from ‘miss machine’ territory, although it took Dillinger… several attempts to perfect this level of unpleasantness while Nesseria have got it right from the off.
Entering the final act of this devastating record, ‘ministere de la concurrence culturelle’ is the most concise of all the tracks on offer her. At just under two minutes and marginally more ferocious than a sabre-toothed tiger that’s just speared its genitalia on its own tooth, it’s an aggressive bout of adrenalin charged metal that’s hard to resist. ‘53%’, meanwhile is a dark, slow slog through the land of the tormented, characterised by crushingly heavy guitars and drums. The final track, ‘les filles de dieu’ is almost an epic at six minutes and strangely it breaks entirely with what has gone before and sounds oddly like the bastard child of Sepultura and the Deftones. Lengthy, complex and filled with time changes and amazing guitar playing it is the perfect finale and it leaves you desperate to hear more form this intelligent, brutal, uncompromising group.
Nesseria are a refreshing blast of pure metal. Successfully combining some searingly ugly riffs and vocals with a sense of melody and an adventurousness that you wouldn’t expect from a band on their first album, this is furiously intelligent metal of the first order and well worth anyone’s time. This is strongly recommended stuff and you can track the band down at their website printed below. Do yourself a favour and do it now.