PICK OF THE WEEK: Noisem grind heavily, light death and thrash on fire with ‘Blossoming Decay’

(Photo by Gene Smirnov)

(Photo by Gene Smirnov)

Hype is a curious thing. We talked about that a couple weeks back with the new Tribulation album (this site was the only one on the planet not to roll over in mud for it, I think), and we are scratching that topic again today. It really can work both ways, that heavy-flowing stream of praise, as it can get people curious to hear what’s going on, or it can make cynical folks boil over like a kettle.

Crossover thrashers Noisem have been met with a tidal wave of talk ever since their 2013 debut record “Agony Defined,” and the band took those waves and turned them into an opening slot on Decibel Magazine’s 2014 tour featuring Carcass, as well developing a sterling reputation for their raucous live shows. Yeah, their age always comes up in discussions, as these guys are in and/or barely out of their teens, but let’s instead concentrate on how they are as a unit instead of how many birthdays they’ve celebrated. These guys have destroyed since day one, and they’re back to proving their mettle again on their excellent second record “Blossoming Decay.” If there ever was any doubt this band deserved the hype they receive, this bastard will shut a ton of mouths.

Noisem coverAt nine tracks and 24 minutes, “Blossoming Decay” (available digitally right now) is perfectly served. The songs rage by and crush in an instant, and you barely have a chance to catch your breath from one crusher to the next. The dudes in the band—vocalist Tyler Carnes, guitarists Yago Ventura and Sebastian Phillips, bassist Billy Carnes, and drummer Harley Phillips—show a growing musical maturity, but they still keep things brutal and raw. In fact, their intensity level has increased, as these guys mash through you with force and malice, bringing to my mind what I felt when I was in high school listening to the early thrash and crossover bands that helped meld my tastes. Oh, and perhaps some of that elbow-rubbing with Carcass wore off on these guys, because they can grind like monsters on sections of this record.

It’s not an immediate burst from the guys, as opener “Trail of Perturbation” starts with eerie soundscapes and a scraping cello, but when the shit hits the fan, it splatters everywhere. The band pushes forward with a burst of power, while the vocals are maniacally spat out and a little grimier than they were on the debut. It’s on to “Burning,” which crushes right away and is speedy as hell. Again, the vocals are laced with menace, with strong lead guitar working burning a path, some steely thick basslines bruising, and the back end of chaos spilling right into “1132.” There, a damn great riff greets you, with the band settling into a thrashy groove and taking their time dealing the punishment. But before all is said and done, the cover is torn off, and the band slips back into full rage. “Replant and Repress” is pure demolition, with rapid-fire vocals, complete blazing by the band, and a meaty overall personality that rewards with violence. “Hostile End/Hollow Life” is an interesting one as the first half keeps up the momentum built on the first half of the record, with parts particularly unhinged and having a hardcore feel. But the second half settles and parks into an embankment of noise that coats the brain and carries into what awaits next.

That would be “Cascade of Stars” that opens with noise and cellos but shortly breaks into doomy clubbing that shows a sludgier side and then a total assault complete with terrifying growls, more clobbering riffs, and guitar soloing that boils over near the end of the track. “Another Night Sleeping in the Cold” had a more traditional thrash feel to it, with guitars grinding, fists pounding, and its relatively short life making its impact and getting out on top. “Graining Enamel” not only sounds painful, but it’ll leave you clutching at your jaw. The band chugs hard, with the drums getting absolutely pummeled and the guitars taking on a classic death metal essence, which should make your skin crawl. The song just guts you. The closer “Blossoming of the Web” begins with muddy bass, guitars shrieking out, and another tasty riff that helps set the path for the gruff, commanding vocals. Guitars rush all over the place, with the band feeding into a final outlet of fury and the guitars rising up to kill one more time. Then it all settles into a dark murk, with black strings calling woozily, almost as if they’ve endured the onslaught right along with you and need to bleed out. Killer finish to a great record.

It’s terrifying how quickly this band has gotten this good, and they have so many miles in front of them, who knows where they’ll be five years from now? Hell, album three should be one interesting milestone for them. “Blossoming Decay” more than lives up to its hype and certainly surpasses the wild expectations people like me had for this album. This is one of metal’s great young hopes, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be dominating for the next decade or two.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/NoisemBaltimore

To buy the album digitally (available now), go here: https://a389recordings.bandcamp.com/album/a389-162-noisem-blossoming-decay-12

To buy the album on CD or LP, go here: http://shop.a389records.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.a389records.com/site/