10/17/2008 - Review by: Etiam
After two entertaining and occasionally excellent releases (the LP 'Recremation' and compilation 'Remnants...') revived the name of Nominon in the modern scene, it was up to their next LP to seal their comeback. That effort is entitled 'Terra Necrosis' and came to us in 2007 by way of Konqueror Records. Aside from a switch-out on bass, the band's roster is unchanged since 2005's 'Recremation', which is no small thing for a band as volatile as Nominon. Since their first demo, though, guitarist Juha Sulasalmi has been at the group's very heart, and it is his signature--unmistakably in the classic Swedish vein of Nihilist and Dismember--that has maintained the band through its fifteen years.
So it is no surprise that 'Terra Necrosis' is consistent with Nominon's previous work in almost every way--a plentiful bushel of buzz-heaven riffs and bouncing grooves that sounds straight from the Stockholm school (aside from the fact that Nominon hail from Jönköping, closer to Gothenburg). Better still is that Nominon can rehash this old ground without sounding either too exhausted for ideas or like another band to be worth including in one's rotation. The closest they come to either pitfall is on tracks such as 'Tabula Rasa', where the lyrics are conspicuously prosaic, the riffing sluggish, and the Hypocrisy influence overstated. Otherwise, Nominon are handy with their instruments, if not necessarily snappy, and can lay down simple grooves with enough attitude and slick cadenzas to keep things interesting. The deceptively simple slowhand picking in opener 'Release in Death', for instance, is similar to the approach that made (for instance) Ola Lindgren a master of the genre.
Yet, 'Terra Necrosis' doesn't quite fulfill the potential suggested by the fresher 'Recremation'. Either too staid or simply uninspired this time around, Nominon has yet to release the album that will galvanize their career. In the past they have shown moments of insightful explorations; more recently they have returned to basics with panache. To combine the two, however, or to focus on one and make it exceptional, escapes them. This album to turn the corner need not necessarily be groundbreaking--this year has seen any number of old-school death metal bands be lauded as superb--but it does need something more than what 'Terra Necrosis' has to offer. Until then, Nominon will remain among the merely 'pretty good', and that, as the 90's proved to the prolific Swedish scene, inevitably leads to obscurity.
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