For 20 years of existence Swedish Thrash/Death Metal band Nonexist released a couple of albums, EPs and even split up, fully according to the name. However, the band resurrected like phoenix, changed the line-up several times and continued to record songs and performs live (until recent times at least). Not a long time ago Nonexist released their latest album called Like The Fearless Hunter.
In 2000 Johan Reinholdz showed some Thrash/Death songs to Bengt “Wez” Wenedikter from Sweden label War Music, which signed Johan’s other band Andromeda recently. The material was good, so Reinholdz with the vocalist Johan Liiva (ex-Arch Enemy, Furbowl, Carnage) and drummer Matte Modin (Dark Funeral) went to the studio to record their debut album Deus Deceptor, which was released in 2002. Nevertheless, after the album was released, musicians went back to their main bands and Nonexist didn’t officially exist until 2011 when Liiva joined the band for the second time. In 2012 second album From My Cold Dead Hands was released and three years later Throne Of Scars have seen a light of the day. Liiva leaves the band one more time and from this point Nonexist can be considered as Reinholdz’ solo project or even one man band – Johan plays guitar, bass, keyboards and after Liiva’s departure he started to sing too.
Alright, enough with the history, let’s move to the album itself. Like The Fearless Hunter mixes Thrash Metal aggression with brutality of Death. At the same time there is a place for the melody. Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquility), Rogga Petersson (Merciless), Chris Amott (Dark Tranquility) and Markus Johnsson (Eucharist) can be heard on this album as well.
Death Metal prevails here: in the opening “Strictly Sadistic Intent” you can hear brutality in literally all its aspects. Nevertheless, some melody appears in chorus and the music turns into Melodic Death Metal in a vein of early Arch Enemy. The same thing happens in “Together We Shall Burn” with brutal intro and melodic chorus, while some Groove elements and great, mighty bass added here.
Thrash Metal appears in dynamic and very aggressive “Dark Satanic Mills” but somewhere in the middle of the song the pace get slower and main theme also changes as well. “Bloody Carnal Sorcerer”, in its turn, is “typical” Thrash/Death with two extreme vocals and even some Black elements (not so many of them, though). It sounds really mighty, with aggressive delivery so the melodic solo, as for me, is a little bit superfluous. At the same time in total Death Metal track “Litany Of Poison” melodic solo guitar, which seems to be alien in this kingdom of brutality, sounds organically.
Instrumental track “Fear Corrodes The Soul” also needs to be mentioned: it’s Melodic Death with really solid sound, a couple of pace changes and great, catchy melody that played almost through the whole track. There are some sudden keyboards in the end also – to be honest, I can’t fully understand the necessity of them: they are not dissonant but from my point of view this track will sound good without them as well.
The most brutal and might song in Like The Fearless Hunter is “Scent”, some kind of “Death Metal in your face”: fast drums, low-tuned guitars, tough riffs and some keyboards on the background that emphasize the infernal atmosphere of the song.
All drums are programmed in the album, nevertheless they sound pretty good, solid with some really interesting patterns. It will be very interesting to see how Joakim Strandberg-Nilsson, live band’s drummer will cope with it. Hope that someday I will.
All in all, Like The Fearless Hunter, like I said before, is incredibly solid, fast, aggressive and brutal album which mixes various extreme genres quite well. It is not devoid of some controversial moments, as for me, but the advantages outweigh all these moments easily. And I can say that Johan Reinholdz does his job really good.
Like The Fearless Hunter was released on August, 28 via Mighty Music.
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