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Album Review: TBA

Monday, May 27, 2013

EP Review: NVRVD - Coma

NVRVD are, undoubtedly, a band of contradictions. If, like me, you’ve never come across them before, this 6-track EP of theirs may just leave you feeling a little burnt out. Just as soon as you believe you have a solid idea as to what brand of heavy they are throwing down here, they will switch up or switch down and you’ll have to start all over again. It’s kind of like the first time you try to wade through The Dillinger Escape Plan jungle of sounds or try to decipher The Chariot’s ADHD-afflicted blueprint. The answer may lie in their variety of listed influences which stretch from the ‘core blitzkrieg of Trap Them and Converge, on through the groove-injected crush of Gojira and Machine Head and far out to the stoned chug of Mastodon and Down.

A quick trawl through the NVRVD (a.k.a. Never Void) web-lopaedia reveals that they are a trio who hail from the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia and, since forming back in 2004, have independently-released three albums and a couple of other bits and bobs and have now ended up, most suitably, on the Hummus label owned by The Ocean’s Jona Nida.

Heading down through Coma‘s layers, the chasm of “Oberohe” opens up to reveal a deep, ethereal doom that builds through a series of echoing crashes. The twist is the monster within which bursts forth to sink its teeth into death-fuelled hardcore and thrash elements, before returning to its vast underwater cave again. “Impartial Eyes” and the enigmatically addictive “We Are” give us an unfiltered, raw mix that rips off its punk n’ roll skin to reveal a blackened ‘core. The Braunschmidt brothers’ distant, reverb-loaded screams are so disembodied here that it’s almost as if they’ve been shackled to the studio back wall, away from their mic stands.

“An Echo To Your Unbeliefs” revisits the subterranean doom of “Oberohe”, whilst “Niederohe” pitches at us a move from the dark into the light with a sweet, wandering bassline and smarting chugs that branch out into yet another reverberating wall of sound. Wedged between these two lies the antithetic “No Heaven” which stands guilty of getting drunk on its own dizzying power. It tosses us from empty feedback into raging hardcore lunacy and back again, offering little but impact.

There’s something distinctly loveable about the honesty of Coma‘s nerve-frazzling ride through its peaks and troughs. You’ll feel like the proverbial punchbag… at times you’ll be hanging still, soaking up the atmosphere of a dark gym and at others you’ll be getting seven shades of shit knocked out of you. Perhaps not one for the mainstream metalheads amongst us, but the more contrary souls should lap this up.

Also online @ Ave Noctum = http://www.avenoctum.com/2013/05/nvrvd-coma-hummus-records/
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