Nothing But Hate
(Violent Journey Records)
NOWEN from Finland was formed in 1999 by vocalist / guitarist Mikko Lappalainen. After two demos and one EP and various professional decisions (relocation / line-up changes) they're ready to unleash their first full-length "Nothing But Hate" in 2009 on Violent Journey Records from Finland. I must say you can clearly hear that NOWEN got the time to develop and the musical ability of each member is top notch! Also this album features a cool intro, called 'Intro', that is... an intro! No sample or orchestral piece to set a dark mood; just a musical interlude to the second song 'The Sick Weakness'. How simple, how brilliant! Looking at the cover, the aim seems to be making an old school Thrash Metal record to play on your road to hell, but I'm not sure... the music is a bit too controlled and clean with an aim for perfection. This approach, we know from a lot of Gothenburg-styled and progressive bands, is fingerlicking in technical ability, variation but not flame inner fury. The production doesn't support this either. It's a bit too clean fully rage and kick ass. Still NOWEN sounds aggressive with old school riffing mixed with new school. Kinda tricky and maybe they're just too good in their game. From the titletrack 'Nothing But Hate' they finally had me and these last three tracks I consider as the best (for my taste). Maybe the riffs are more intense, the stream of aggression flowing faster and Mikko more pissed off. Still "Nothing But Hatred" is amazing for a debut with EXCELLENT musicians and flawless performance. Don't know any price but I suggest to check www.violentjourneyrecords.com or www.myspace.com/nowenband. Support them in any case. They definitely deserve it!
- NOWEN - Essence Of Fear - by Luxi Lahtinen