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A Magazine for Sheffield

Naisian Metal

Naisian have returned after an almost decade-long exile with their sophomore album, Metal.

Released: 25 September 2020

Sporadic live appearances and the excellent Rejoinder EP from 2018 had been the band’s only output from the rusted walls of their jagged, industrial homeland since their 2011 debut.

Time has not dulled the fierce and angular approach to sludge that this trio exudes. If anything, they have only grown sharper.

‘Taft Point’ introduces the colossal weight that lurks intensely across the whole album. Immediately explosive and unrelenting, a deluge of serrated guitars are helmed by a raw and bloodied bark. But as violently as it was summoned, so the incendiary fervour recedes into a placated, hypnotic ritual. Vocoder-laden chants are a mechanised foil to the restrained guitars, before once again returning to a violent fray.

This ebb and flow moves throughout the album as an ever-evolving creature, organic and industrial. Where ‘Liquid Attraction’ and ‘Asteroid’ see a raging turmoil laid bare, ‘FILA’ and ‘Vanilla’ allow cold and atmospheric experimentation to take precedence. Though its parts appear disparate, there’s a striking cohesiveness to this album. It’s dynamics shift by a significant mass, yet the album remains tonally consistent.

Metal stays true to its namesake and the classic hallmarks of sludge are ever-present. Those that yearn for the metallic scarring of the genre’s heyday will find familiarly antagonistic tones given a fresh vitality. But it’s the ease with which Naisian transcend familiarity that allows Metal to stand above their less daring contemporaries.

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