|Review: Assailant - Nemesis Within|
Label: Dockyard 1
Year released: 2006
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: May 15, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Forging together a damn fine myriad of Progressive and Power Metal stylings, glazed over with a Gothenburg sensibility it's easy to draw comparisons to Italy's Raintime. However Assailant does this job a good few notches better than them. Nemesis Within is a delightful collection of 11 slabs of fiery Prog/Power performed exceedingly well. Vocalist Peder Sundqvist sounds like a pissed off Tom Englund, spitting out vocal lines like poisonous venom. Screams are used to a devastating effect adding a much harder edge to their sound. Each instrument is handled deftly, and there are some really nice ideas put in to place – although this is far from the most original material you will hear. The rhythm guitar work has a really cool Nocturnal Rites feel to it, and the guitar work ranges from a solid gallop into godly harmonies, chugging is implemented in all the right places giving the act an apocalyptic feel. However some of the tracks can blur into one another and with this being their debut there are certainly a few school boy errors to be had – a perfect example is in the otherwise superb track "Tomorrow" where vocalist Peter Sundqvist tries to work beyond his limitations. Some of the choruses teeter on the verge of being mainstream - something which could dishearten some of the less open-minded. (see "Downward Spiral").
Niggling matters aside, there's a lot of cool stuff to sink your teeth into. Tracks such as the sublime "Buried Alive" and the quality "Vanity Unfolds" really kick, featuring stellar guitars and great keyboards; "Vanity Unfolds" is a personal favorite with an utterly brilliant guitar part in the chorus – very Nils Norberg of them. Speaking of which, Assailant's guitarist is Oskar Norberg, younger brother of both Nils and Emil Norberg (Persuader). Other quality cuts are the keyboard-driven "Edge of Forever", the aforementioned "Tomorrow" (despite its vocal shortcomings) and the Grand Illusion-era Nocturnal Rites sound of the belting "Shattered". Overall fans of the harder edged Swedish Power Metal acts will no doubt lap this up, as will fans of acts such as Raintime and Empyrios. Really as far as Gothenburg-tinged Prog/Power goes this is the crème de la crème.
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