October 6, 2013

Noisem – Agony Defined

Written by Matt Hinch.

Artwork by Szymon Siech

I’ve read recently that Avenged Sevenfold have alluded to taking the torch from classic acts like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Slayer when said bands call it quits. Now, I don’t have much respect for A7X anyway, but those feelings aside, I would listen to Noisem before making those kinds of proclamations. What I’m trying to say is if anyone is going to carry the flag of thrash/metal into the next era it’ll be a bunch of kids from Baltimore. Despite their tender ages (members between 15-20!) Noisem play with the skill of musicians twice their age.

Their raging debut, Agony Defined hits the ground at full speed and launches into the first of many, many face-melting solos in the opening seconds. We’re talking serious shred capacity here. Soon enough, it becomes blatantly apparent that Noisem don’t know the meaning of anything less than full throttle. For just under 26 minutes ear canals are assaulted under a barrage of hyperspeed riffing, blasting drums and raspy, thrash-inflected death metal vocals. There’s an energy at play that is undeniably infectious.

It’s one thing to put the pedal down and erm, thrash away, but it’s another to know how to actually drive. And that’s where Noisem show a wisdom beyond their years. Jaw-dropping solos aside, these guys know how to write songs. Tornado riffing can turn-on-a-dime into catchy-as-swine-flu magic, or practically halt altogether to deliver a couple suckerpunches before returning to the mayhem. Yeah sure, some of the riff structures may sound similar but remember, as accomplished as Agony Defined is, it’s still a debut. The beauty is, they’re only going to get better.

Noisem define what it means to be metal. Youthful exuberance, rebellious spirit and a louder-faster attitude culminate into the crème-de-la-crème of modern day deaththrash while still paying homage to the old masters. There are plenty of players in the neo-thrash game (Havok, Municipal Waste, personal favourites Blood Tsunami) but Noisem have time on their side, the hunger that comes with youth and if Agony Defined is any indication, the confidence to propel them to great heights. Get in on the ground floor people, Noisem could very well be the future of heavy metal. No pressure, guys.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. The future of metal, contrary to what bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium might think, will come from the underground, not the mainstream.

    Last three tracks of this one are killer. Better riffs and killer grooves.

    1. Mainstream metal is just that, mainstream. Made to appeal to as many people as possible, made to sell.