Monday, November 18, 2013

Noisem – Agony Defined

With the recent release of their debut album, “Agony Defined”, and their involvement in the The Black Dahlia Murder tour, Noisem is a band that has popped out of nowhere quite quickly. What is less known, is that this album was actually released as “Endless Aggression” last year when the band was known as Necropsy. Band history aside, listening to “Agony Defined” it was immediately clear that this is a record for the old-school thrash fans. That doesn’t mean simply hashing out Exodus riffs with crystal clear production (though I love that stuff too). Rather, Noisem deliver astonishingly authentic sounding late 80’s/early 90’s death/thrash. Think Solstice, Demolition Hammer, and Sadus, and you’re on the right track. The production is perhaps the most convincing aspect because there isn’t a single modern element to it. Instead, the band sacrifices clarity for unrelenting brutality. Take the track “Mortuary”, for example. Vocalist Tyler Carnes yells out endlessly, to the point where you start to wonder how long a verse can truly be. It’s very reminiscent of those Demolition Hammer moments where you are bombarded with mouthfuls of words. Unlike their skull fracturing heroes, however, you won’t need a dictionary to decipher Noisem’s lyrics.

Where “Agony Defined” is most like the old death/thrash classics (in particular, Sadus’ “Illusions”), is in its unbelievably short, yet completely satisfying length. The album is under 26 minutes, and the longest track clocks in at a little over 3 and a half minutes, yet this album is remarkably satisfying when it finishes. There is so much aggression, speed, and violence delivered in this sub-half hour record that you are never left wanting for more content. Though this approach generally foregoes songwriting in favour of brutality, this is once instance where that is perfectly acceptable. “Agony Defined” is the type of record that you can throw on and thrash out to, without worrying about getting bored. In fact, just around the time that you might be ready for something a bit more memorable, the band comes up with “Split From The Inside Out”, which is far and away my favourite track. The chorus of this track really displays how perfectly crunchy the guitar tone is, as well as how vicious Carnes’ vocals are. Ultimately however, this track is a microcosm of the album, just with slightly better songwriting. Nothing about this short experience is weak, and you’d do yourself a massive disservice if you miss out on Noisem’sAgony Defined”.

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"Voices In The Morgue"
"Split From The Inside Out"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%. 

Written by Scott