Australia. That lone country/continent removed from virtually the rest of the entire world and home to loveable things like kangaroos, life’s original stoners the koala bear, and blistering death metal.
Despite Australia’s isolated location, they’ve managed to churn out some of the best death metal, grind, black metal, and any blend of those three subgenres and bring it to the denim and leather-clad world’s attention. Whether it’s the black/death thrashers in Destroyer 666, the kick in the balls grind of Captain Cleanoff, the groove-laden dance party that is The Day Everything Became Nothing, Portal’s interpretation of Incantation in a straightjacket, or the growing popularity of technical death metal band Psycroptic, Australia has an affinity for offering us some of the best extreme music of today.
Lost in the mix is an unknown band by the name of Nexus. These crafty, technical musicians put out one of death metal’s best releases in 2009 and you didn’t even know about it. Taking a variety of influences not stopping at Cynic, Atheist, Death, and Pestilence, Nexus created The Paradise Complex.
Now today, technical death metal is regarded as musicians playing as many notes as fast as they can, often times with little concern for actual songwriting. Obscura nailed it with Cosmogenesis, Arsis did with We Are The Nightmare, and did Nexus with The Paradise Complex.
The rhythms are driving, the leads and melodies are infectious, and the drumming, probably the most interesting part of this album’s equation, displays top-notch musicianship and control. Nope, this album isn’t all about the blast. While the riffs may be flying through the cosmos, the drumming does not follow the same pace. Dan Grainger dances on the snare like he’s at the governor’s ball.
Oh, in case you were wondering, Grainger is pulling double duty and delivering his mid range death growls too. The vocals are tactfully placed and round off this album. Probably the least impressive part of the album, they are still nothing to shrug off. The leads and rhythms of guitarists Geoff Eaton and Dylan Syzmkow and bassist Josh Harris are lightning fast and the drumming tries to prevent it all from zipping by, making the album sound even more aggressive than it already is.
So there we have it: another gift from our Aussie metal brethren. Each song a treat, and clocking in just under 30 minutes, The Paradise Complex will be on heavy rotation for any extreme metal fan.
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