Nervecell - _Psychogenocide_
(Spellbind Records / Lifeforce Records, 2011)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7.5 out of 10)
As someone who lives relatively close to Dubai, I've heard many things about it, but I've never heard the word "boring" being used as a description. And why would I? Anyone who speaks of it usually speaks of its globalized ambience and how it doesn't resemble the rest of the middle-east at all. Thanks to the continuous gushing of oil and gas from the Arabian desert into the Emirati economy, Dubai has its own manufactured answer to everything in the world, including death metal. The answer comes under the name Nervecell, and without a single local lad in sight, as it is usually the case in Dubai, Nervecell consists of a Lebanese bassist / vocalist, a Jordanian guitarist, an Indian-Portuguese guitarist, and the Tasmanian drumming devil David Haley from Psycroptic as a session drummer.

_Psychogenocide_ is Nervecell's second studio album, and it presents a more mature sound than its predecessor _Preaching Venom_. The album kicks off with the beautifully melancholic two minute "Anemic Assurgency", which is played on the oud. The band's dynamism and creativity doesn't wait too long to probe its neck out; that is what "Upon an Epidemic Scheme" will have you thinking. A rather intriguing track on this frenetic _Psychogenocide_ is "Shunq (To the Despaired... King of Darkness)". The word Shunq (pronounced with a raspy, back of the throat K) is the Arabic word for hanging, as in death by hanging. The intrigue however, is not in the name but in the lyrics. The track has Arabic and English lyrics both sung in the standard death metal growl and with guest vocals from Nile's monster Karl Sanders.

There are quite a few memorable moments on this album that are worth mentioning. The riffing quality on "All Eyes on Them", "Psychogenocide" and the powerful album closer "Nation's Plague" makes a very good first impression that manages to keep its tightness after repeated listens. The duplex guitar unit complements its pummeling collection of riffs with some solos that will have any guitar aficionado cry out to the heavens and raise his fists in approval. The aforementioned "Upon an Epidemic Scheme" and the instrumental "The Taste of Betrayal" are but two examples of where you can find that impressive guitar work of which I speak.

I have to say that I wasn't expecting to enjoy this album as much when I first listened to it, and I fail to find a reason for this. After many listens, I can honestly say that _Psychogenocide_ is an enjoyable death metal album with a lot of talent and effort put into its creation. Nervecell definitely seems to be going down the right path as far as the evolution of a death metal band is concerned; of course it helps when you have Karl Sanders and David Haley on board.


(article published 23/7/2011)

5/29/2009 P Williams 8.5 Nervecell - Preaching Venom
10/10/2008 P Williams 6 Nervecell - Human Chaos
5/8/2009 P Williams Motorhead / Arch Enemy / Opeth / Chimaira / August Burns Red / Nervecell / Hatred / Scarab Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2009
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