It’s shaping up to be a good year for the breakthrough of British doom bands, with the likes of BOSS KELOID and GARGANJUA gaining momentum and releasing new material this year. Now you can add Norwich doom merchants NERVEWRECKER to our list of rising doom stars. Featuring members of DEITIES and THE BOY WILL DROWN the band are set to release their second EP, Murmur. Four tracks of slow and heavy doom absolutely batter the ears, with the stellar mixing and mastering by bassist Dave Klussmann providing extra clarity and a ferocious punch to proceedings. On the BONGRIPPER side of the doom spectrum, NERVEWRECKER are crushingly heavy.
The skull crushing starts with oodles of distortion in Glaciation and a devastatingly slow riff that the likes of ELECTRIC WIZARD would be proud of. Frontman Ed Bell groans and screams his way through the song and the EP, inflicting his tortured soul upon us meek listeners. This is one band you have to play loud and proud to feel their full, blistering effect. The static and distortion give the riffs a triumphant edge and the result is quite mesmerising.
Second track Dejected has quite a swagger to it. It sounds like it could be the beginning of a mucky hardcore song, it’s what I imagine CURSED or EMPLOYED TO SERVE would be if they decided to decelerate. With the repeating riff, HEY COLOSSUS springs to mind but the track sounds absolutely massive. There is a welcome break halfway through where the bass has a chance to rumble on and shine. The pace picks up and the song comes to a storming close. If NERVEWRECKER focussed their sound on an approach like this, they would become unstoppable.
The biggest riff of the EP bludgeons the brain at the beginning of Gateway. Feedback and resonance envelopes the listener in a spectacular doomy haze. Epic and atmospheric, NERVEWRECKER are onto a winner here with this song. This is doom metal x1000. Absolute perfection. If you think the band couldn’t get heavier, they’re going to surprise you six and a half minutes in. Truly unforgiving and devastating metal.
Four tracks doesn’t seem enough yet here we are at the EP finale, Covetous. Things come to a momentous close with psychedelic riffs and a captivating interlude that reminds me of ISIS or NEUROSIS. The word ‘heavy’ doesn’t seem to do Covetous justice. With a bewitching ending enabling the listener to wind down after an incessant pounding, it may take a little while to fully recover from the aural assault NERVEWRECKER thrust upon us. After writing an absolutely crushing EP, it will be interesting to see what direction NERVEWRECKER will head in for their debut album. I for one would love to see the band push boundaries with their song writing; the talent is there, the band just need to unlock it and run full steam. Promising stuff.