An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity (DCide/Mayhem)
by Paul Lee
I don’t find myself drawn to a lot of modern metalcore these days, so it was a nice surprise to get Nothingface and find that I really got into An Audio Guide To Everyday Atrocity. Don’t start making Voivod connections (for those of you not in the know, “Nothingface” was the name of a classic 1989 Voivod opus), these D.C.-based boys lean in a more Earth Crisis-meets-Fugazi direction. And while Nothingface can rip and shred with the best of them, they manage to integrate some beautiful melodies into their repertoire.What separates Nothingface from their metalcore peers is that they know how to temper their savageness with subtlety, and have a decidedly alternative edge.
Where bands like Pantera don’t exactly exude intelligence, Nothingface leave the impression that they are as comfortable reading a classic as they are beating the shit out of someone. “Grinning” is a prime example of Nothingface’s songwriting talent – it has the viciousness of Slayer, the groove of Pantera, and Matt Holt’s talented melodic vocal approach (when he’s not roaring), similar to J. Robbins of Jawbox.
Musically, guitarist Tom Maxwell takes the lead with his complex rhythms and melodies. He seamlessly goes from a roaring metal sound into a smooth, catchy and melodic riff. Bassist Bill Gall keeps up with Maxwell’s diversity and skillfully thuds his way through each song. These guys have chops comparable to Rush or King Crimson. This has to be one of the best releases of its kind in ’98.
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