An Audio Guide To Everday Atrocity

Nothingface - An Audio Guide To Everday Atrocity ©1998 Mayhem/Fierce
1. Gold Tooth
2. Grinning
3. So Few
4. Villains
5. Sleeper
6. Breathe Out
7. Error In Excellence
8. I, Diablo
9. The Sick

If for some reason you think this is a high-concept futuristic metal band in the vein of Voivod (who incidentally released an album in 1989 called Nothingface), you might just be in for a surprise. Nothingface, the band, is a blistering four piece from Washington D.C. who are commanding quite a bit of attention.

When I first played this CD, it was right on the heels of listening to the new Skinlab record and unfortunately the two bands are playing that similar rhythm'n'crunch model of 90's metal. So the first listen was a bit of a waste as I thought Nothingface was simply walking the beaten path. To a certain degree that is true. You can hear influences in here from places like Quicksand clear to the Machine Head world of bruising crush metal. Fortunately Nothingface is blessed with a singer who knows how to both holler and sing. It's Matt Holt's ability to constantly shape his voice to fit the theme of the song that keeps this band from being generic and commonplace. For example, the bulk of "So Few" would be ruined by the hoarse shouting. Meanwhile, the band is also lucky to have a dynamic drummer like Chris Houck keeping time. With music as driving and forceful as this, the drumming can either be a hinderance or make it a clenched fist of power and he makes it the latter.

Nothingface is definitely one of the better bands to emerge in the last part of the decade. An Audio Guide of Everyday Atrocity is an appropriate piece that balances despair with the seething anger that so many people are feeling as the millennium draws to a close.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1999

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