Nefastus Dies - _Urban Cancer_
(Deep Send Records, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7.5 out of 10)
With an LP title like _Urban Cancer_ I felt certain I was in for some post-Biohazard metalcore tuneage, so I intentionally postponed sitting down to absorb and review this album until I was in an appropriately receptive mood, which doesn't happen every day with certain sub-genres (there's truly only one thing I refuse to keep putting off on principle, and that's further procrastination).

Alright, so it turns out I could have knocked this off on any given night without waiting for my metalcore tolerance to peak (which truthfully isn't that rare as long as by metalcore we mean completely free of rap metal influences, which isn't always the case). As it is, _Urban Cancer_ is a fairly raging little pistol consisting almost entirely of blackened death tropes and an impressively solid rasp by ex-Trails of Anguish bassist Ill-Fate. The website bio hints at changes in musical direction, and it's paid off dividends here. A nearly continuous blast beat girds the epic riff progressions and subtle washes of orchestral synths. Ill-Fate runs the gamut from blistered hardcore shouts to guttural death grunts to a more forlorn black metal synthesis of the two.

The frenzied death influences cede to the broken pathos of black metal as the disc progresses, with opener "Fragments of Poisoned Components" being the most mosh-worthy and thirteen minute finale "Cost-Effective Mergers" cycling through a variety of progressive ambient textures. With atypical song titles like "The Irony of Anti-Establishment Ideologies" and the aforementioned, it's clear that Nefastus Dies are far more interested in bringing something new to the table than merely rehashing the same old shit. Good for them... and hey, us too.


(article published 23/6/2007)

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