25 Yard Screamer - Nemesis

(CD 2022, 50:19, White Knight Records)

The tracks:
  1- Adrift(8:56)
  2- Incidence(3:30)
  3- Incident(6:08)
  4- The Vibrations Of Speech(4:57)
  5- Eye to I(5:11)
  6- Gravity(4:24)
  7- Breathe(4:46)
  8- Giving Away My Last Secret(5:37)
  9- Fragility Of Angels(6:45)

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Nemesis is the latest nine track release from 25 Yard Screamer. This Welsh group have been rocking for over twenty years now, but the fire is still burning brightly in their bellies. It is their fourth release with White Knight Records and possibly my favourite one yet. The album artwork by Vernon Jones is dramatic and epic, giving the listener a good sense of the scope the band have for the music here. Nick James (vocals, guitars), Matt Clarke (bass)
and Donal Owen (drums) have certainly crafted something rather splendid with this release.

Opening with a hypnotic riff is Adrift. It's the longest of all the songs on here and a true statement of intent. Lyrics such as "so many people, know the right direction, while I am drifting here" pack a mighty emotional punch to the heart. It's my favourite track on the album and a very strong starting point. The much shorter and heavily atmospheric second track, Incidence is beautifully dark and the various sound textures used really give this song its own identity. It then flows nicely into Incident which is a more lively number. It features a particularly powerful vocal performance, but the whole band are on top form and it really makes me want to see them play live. Check out the video for this song on YouTube. The Vibrations Of Speech, despite its name, is largely instrumental. There's some whispered vocals in the background, but that's about it, as the instruments provide all of the necessary singing. They're a band that flirts with metal, but it's something that never becomes overbearing and it actually adds a lovely dynamic to the sound. Arriving next is Eye To I and the vocals return in beastly fashion. The rhythm section is solid and there's even some tasty slide guitar which adds a splash of gold to the album. Standout song, Gravity is a proper ear worm. I really like the guitars on this track. It reminds me of something Opeth would do when they take their more laid back approach. "Held in this place by the gravity" - yes, that we are. It's all rather catchy and chilled out and lovely. Next, we soak up the atmospheric embrace of Breathe and gasp at the epic gothique of Giving Away My Last Secret. The latter is packed with haunting keys and drums big enough to fill a stadium. This band should really be much more well known than they are when they're writing songs such as this. "I bring fire to the table" are the opening lyrics to album closer, Fragility Of Angels. What a brilliant way to close things - that guitar solo is on fire!

Great song writing, power-house vocals and skillful musicianship mix to create a solid, dynamic album. Its combination of beauty and power makes the music sound larger than life. All of this helps to shape a melodic, metal-tinted, progressive rock beauty - buy it now!

****+ Rickalonius Monk

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