For most, the first exposure to Tokyo’s Nemophila came via their classic cover versions (check out their YouTube channel and you’ll find raucous renditions of Iron Maiden’s The Trooper, Kiss’ Detroit Rock City and Helloween’s I Want Out). However, the band have equally impressive original tunes as evidenced by Dissension, their third single release.
Formed barely 18 months ago Nemophila have quickly become the rising stars of Japanese metal and that’s no surprise when you consider they comprise former members of Destrose, Lipstick and Disqualia (amongst others). With each member bringing a wealth of experience to the band their pedigree is undeniable and it shines through each of these four tracks.
There’s a real urgency surrounding Nemophila and they waste little time on preliminaries as a skull-crushing riff heralds the arrival Dissension. It’s a punchy sound that’s powered forward by Tamu’s thunderous drumming and Haraguchi-san’s chest-thumping bass. Full of sonic shifts it mixes a 90’s industrial vibe with Fear Factory precision, only it’s heavier and more direct. Vocalist Mayu sang with the aforementioned Lipstick but her vocal range is more suited to Nemophila and the bands wide, expansive sound allows her to veer between clean singing and glass-shattering screams.
A solid pair of guitarists is a prerequisite in metal and in SAKI (Mary’s Blood) and Hazuki Nemophila have two of the best. When not attacking the listener in tandem with some of the heaviest riffs known to man they’re trading some fret melting solos. That interplay is most evident on the next track Fighter where they weave a rich tapestry that creates a multi-layered, textured sound. A nice admixture of the antiquated and modern it has a ‘Metallica meets The Offspring’ feel and, with a satisfying bass rumble, it flies past like a bullet train. Two tracks that appeared on their prior single are presented here in instrumental form and, sans vocals, they reveal an intricate, labyrinthian sound.
I hope Nemophila won’t be stereotyped as a ‘covers band’ because their original songs are as equally impressive. From the slick video to the heavy yet melodic sound Dissension could be the single that brings the band global attention.
Dissension is self-released on 28th February 2021.
3. RAITEI (instrumental)
4. SORAI (Instrumental)