Ooooh, now this is one I’ve been eagerly waiting for. Nephren-Ka’s debut album The Fall of Omnius was a fantastic record, one that ended up being the number one pick for my best of 2013 end of year list. Its follow up is well overdue, but now it’s finally here.
Well, in many ways it’s like the band have never been away. Much like The Fall of Omnius, this is ostensibly brutal death metal, but there’s also a lot more depth, nuance, and additional influences going on here than merely just this. Both the sci-fi Dune themes and the technical death metal aspects of the band’s delivery are still present and correct, providing some blinding riffs and guitarwork for the listener to try and wrap their mind around.
Within their characterful approach to death metal the band touch bases with various extreme metal styles at one point or another, and they have continued to refine their brutal assault. If anything this new release is even more extreme than their debut, yet still manages to retain that exotic air of theirs, cultivated through interesting melodies, clever guitar lines, and sci-fi themed explorations.
Effective compositional structures, a keen sense of dynamics, whirlwind blast beats, tasty riffs, tangible atmosphere, and blistering solos are all included in one form or another, and the end result is a hugely satisfying and enjoyable album.
Nephren-Ka have finally returned, and it’s been well worth the wait. La Grande Guerre de L’Epice is another top-notch release full of some of the best brutal death metal around.