Jul 222010

Imagine this: You’re sitting on a bus, minding your own business. A pale young man next to you, with blue hair, begins to twitch, and then to convulse. The eyes roll back in his head and his limbs begin to flail in a full seizure.

Before you can think what to do, he seizes your arm — and you begin to convulse too. Your eyes roll back in your head, and all the synapses in your brain begin to fire at once — and you continue to flail even when he lets go, because your brain has been sucked into a vortex of transfixing complexity.

That image begins to approximate the experience of listening to the music of a French band called 7th Nemesis. The songs are incredibly intricate and inventive. They collapse the walls between multiple genres. They are executed with a fine balance of precise skill and explosive emotion. And they thrash like the seizure of a blue-haired epileptic.

7th Nemesis was founded in 2001 with the avowed objective of “mixing the violence of extreme metal with the complexity of progressive rock structures.” They recorded a 3-track demo and a split CD and then released (in 2006) a full-length debut called Violentia Imperatrix Mundi, which they made available for free download on their website (through a link that unfortunately no longer works).

Then, after getting some attention and festival spots on the strength of that album, they did a strange thing. After adding a new drummer, they re-recorded and remixed their debut and, in July 2008, released the revised songs in the form of an album called Archetype of Natural Violence.

I don’t know how the revised songs compare to the originals, but considering them as they are, Archetype of Violence is a riveting experience — one we highly recommend.  (more after the jump, including a song to stream and a video of another one . . .) Continue reading »