American thrash/speed/death metallers Noisem return with there new album, Cease to Exist, along with a trimmed down band and a new label, 20 Buck Spin.
The Baltimore based noise makers were a five piece and are now a trio. In the bands words, they have removed a lot of negative influences in the band, now being able to channel the negativity into the music instead of on to each other. Former vocalist Tyler Carnes has gone. As has bassist Billy Carnes and guitarist Yago Ventura. Now, looking after bass and vocals we have Ben Anft. On drums it’s Harley Phillips and on guitars we have Sebastian Phillips.
Noisem’s last release was 2015’s Blossoming Decay. Musically they have obviously simplified with the line up change. A few less layers, a little more straightforward and songs that should translate well to the live environment. Cease to Exist is a short record as is often the case with the speed side of death. Short blasts of raw fire and fury. Packed with plenty of groove and moments of melody but predominantly mini eruptions of hate, anger and disgust.
In total we have 10 tracks or 22 minutes of music on Cease to Exist, Noisem’s third release. Or debut as a new band, depending on how you feel about the line up changes. Changes or not though, the one thing we will all agree with is that Cease to Exist is solid. Bettered by its simplicity, while the band still feed off of chaos, the instruments just sound better. The single guitar stands out. The removal of layers allows the drum and bass to sit more comfortably and the vocals are clearer. Less is more for Noisem.
One of the things I love most about Cease to Exist is how catchy the songs are. Yes they are fast and chaotic but not just for the sake of it. Maybe it’s the simplicity but this is very accessible music. In amongst all the fast riffs and speed drums there are little moments of change. A groove, a solo, a beat – something that elevates the song. Constricted Cognition is over 2 mins in length with insane blasting drums and a speed riff. The bass is strong and the vocals are delivered at a fast pace, dark and with menace. Deplorable has a sludgy slow down near the end with some dark black metal vocals before descending into chaos with a ripping solo and furious drum blasts. Penance for the Solipsist goes for a full speed, relentless approach. A bit of groove comes through in the riff and there is an excellent screeching solo but you could do yourself damage trying to headbang to this one.
Eyes Pried Open has some of the darkest vocals and is really hard hitting with a thick bass and the same speed drumming. It switches a bit for its last third though starting with a fiery solo and leading into a chunky groove section. Still fast but with serious rhythm. Sensory Overload follows a similar pattern. A vicious start that leads into a darkened groove ending and another cracking mini solo. So below has an amazing last minute with a slower instrumental made up of screeching guitars and a thick bass line. It leads directly into the last song, and my favourite, Ode to Absolution. A slow, doomy start sees the drummer have a rest and the guitars and bass blare out single distorted notes. It soon turns into a wicked chug as the drums tap out an increasingly quicker beat. A roar sees the speed kick up and we are now in the throes of anger as the drums rain down frenetically and the vocals are roared consistently. Almost as soon as we started, we are ending though as with a high pitched screech the guitar plays an extended note and the instruments are left to fade out.
Cease to Exist is a really strong album and easily my favourite from Noisem thus far. There is a lot of anger and fury here still. Lots of chaos but it feels more controlled. More mature. Musically it is pretty simple stuff with basic riffs and drums that focus on speed more than intricate patterns but within the simple sounds you pick out moments of ingenuity that show how skilled the band are. Moments like the wicked mini solos scattered over the album. Or the little switches to groove that pop up now and then. The structure of some of the tracks are really clever too. Especially the album closer, Ode to Absolution. That is a little slice of genius right there.
There are a song or two that feel a little like filler though. The minute long Filth and Style is too short to do anything too clever with and I don’t really find anything standout in Putrid Decadence either. They aren’t bad songs, they just aren’t as good as the rest of the album and as they are together on the album, as in Filth and Style follows Putrid Decadence it creates a short but real lull in an otherwise fantastic slab of metal.
Check out Cease to Exist now on all the usual streaming platforms. You can pick up a physical copy from 20 Buck Spin at their site here. There are loads of formats available, including cassette and LP. You can also grab a copy from Noisem’s Bandcamp page here. Find out more on Noisem at their Facebook and Instagram page by following the links.
Cease to Exist by Noisem (20 Buck Spin)
The Final Score - 8/10