Nethermost - Alpha (2013)

Nethermost roughly means something along the lines of being the lowest, farthest down and the lowest point of existence. This Laredo, Texas three piece certainly transcribes those words into musical form, in particular that of a doom/death style, here on their debut EP, 'Alpha.'

Four songs grace this EP, all with deep melancholy sounding riffs, audible bass work, hard growled vocals and a gloomy mood to boot. The death metal elements pretty much solely exist within vocalist John Johnston's voice, while the music itself and its pace is probably most comparable to that of Katatonia's 'Brave Murder Day' record more so than the early true death/doom work of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema.

I'd have to admit the first song, 'Phasing Currents,' and especially the second, 'The Untroubled Kingdom of Reason,' are good, but by the time you make it through the other two songs, 'Tower of the Winds' & 'Dance of Burning Beasts' you'll notice that very little diversity exists within Nethermost's music. Its not so much that the songs are bad, but it does have that feeling of having heard it before. Besides earlier Katatonia the music reminds me of Daylight Dies, Mourning Beloveth, October Tide and a bit like Swallow the Sun, sometimes. The EP could just have well been two long songs instead of four short songs too.

Nevertheless, there's surely a future for these guys, but I just think they need to diversify their tunes a bit and at least somewhat shake off the obvious influences. On the other hand, if you happen to really enjoy those bands then you may very well adore every aspect of this short twenty minute EP.

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