June 6, 2008 | | 4

Nefastus Dies, Urban Cancer

I don’t know much about these guys except that former Ion Dissonance vocalist Ill-fate leads up the screams and growls on their debut release Urban Cancer. Aside from that, this group of Canadian metal heads apparently know how to tear their way through some grinding, blackened death metal. Featuring unrelenting drums and pummeling rhythms from Scythrawl, this album will leave you bruised and battered. Guitarists Void and Auriel shred through black metal riffs one second and the next will deflesh you the next with scorching leads. Add in a few keyboard moments in the background to help set off the destructive nature of the rest of the band and you’ve got a recipe for some dark black metal.

Fragments Of Poisoned Components
A series of raw screams and growls hits the visitor square in the face once the disc starts spinning. The vocals are quickly joined by swirling black metal guitars and machine gun drum work. Ill-fate’s growls and shouts range from mid-range to utterly hellish guttural grunts and squeals. There are some keyboard elements throughout the track that help accentuate the vocals and driving rhythms.

Primal Chaos Layers
I’m not sure if “Primal Chaos Layers” is actually the name of the song or a perfect three word description of the raw and caustic black metal that it violently delivers. Several tempo changes will keep you on your toes along with the smooth starts and stops. The drums on this song are pretty damned intense.

Hate Vector
“Hate Vector” contains some really memorable riff work and gets off to a more epic, slower start before diving head first into a churning sea of blackened death. Maddening drum blasts will leave you swollen and bloodied as deep guttural growls howl away. There’s a lot going on within the five plus minutes of this song — melodic riffs, beastial vocals, unrelenting drum and symphonic keyboard work.

The Irony Of Anti-Establishment Ideologies
A little disharmonic guitar work opens up this one as light drums and keyboards come in with spoken vocals. This one has some pretty technical tempo shifts as Ill-fate stretches his vocal range with higher pitches screams, shouts and guttural gurgles. The band fades to light guitar work around the 4:20 mark which lasts till about the 4:45 point as big riffs and manic drumming erupt from the speakers with a quickness. At 8:26 in length this is the second longest track on the album.

None Of The Above
“None of The Above” carries over similar tones and momentum from the previous song and is nearly as long in its duration. Melancholy guitar tones are matched with guttural growls and bludgeoning drum work to create a desolate, yet chaotic feel. There is an extended period of piano from the four minute mark that lasts about 20 second or so before being swallowed alive by driving riffs and primal drums. The track ends in a fury of beats and riffs.

Spawns Of Illegitemacy
Memorable guitar work precedes pummeling drums and Ill-fate’s spastic shouts and growls. There are some pretty catchy riffs throughout this one that’ll you’ll steadily be head banging along to. Several tempo changes keep the listener on their toes as Nefastus Dies does their best to destroy their equipment in record time with crushing guitars and devastating drums.

Cost Effective Mergers
The final track is also the longest, weighing in at an even 13 minutes. It starts off quickly with driving riffs and steady rhythms. Ill-fate uses every vocal delivery method available to him to convey the band’s message and lyrics. There are a few epic moments on this track that evoke feelings of solitude and desperation through melancholy guitar tones and vocal delivery. The track goes silent for a few second after the 8:10 mark, but picks back up around the 8:40 mark with light piano that lasts the remaining four plus minutes. It’s quite a dramatic ending to an otherwise aggressive set of black metal nastiness.

~ ~ ~

Urban Cancer is quite a debut album for Nefastus Dies. Encompassing a multitude of styles applied to a black metal base, the album delivers a thorough ass kicking to the skull of any one brave enough to hit the play button.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: