Mar 2024 31

Album CoverNonexister
Album: Demons
Category: Industrial / Rock
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2024-03-15
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


 

From Zürich, Switzerland comes Nonexister, with Demons marking the band’s full-length debut. One can already glean from the band’s name a somewhat nihilistic outlook, and this is certainly supported by the album’s arid and apocalyptic atmosphere. If one were to imagine the windswept deserted landscapes evoked by Concrete Blonde and early Soundgarden crossed with the adventurous genre-bending of Killing Joke, one might come close to Nonexister’s take on industrial/rock.

Songs like the opening “Your Pain Up My Veins,” “How Do You Dare,” and “Storm” demonstrate the interplay of Reto “Fu” Gaffuri’s droning bass guitar with Marco Neeser’s electronics underscoring Silvan Gerhard’s varied and expressive guitars, vacillating between noisy feedback-laced leads and riffs that scratch and grind with Siro Müller’s excellent drumming, all topped off by Nik Leuthold’s intensely emotive vocals. The same can be said of “A Promise in the Air,” Leuthold’s voice scornful yet sultry amid offbeat rhythms, following by the bluesy, slightly post-punk vibes of “Where Does Your Mind Go” and the gorgeous goth energy of “Head in a Hole,” Gerhard’s crisp clean tones adding to the shadowy dreamlike haze. Not enough can be said of Leuthold’s prowess, for while he possesses a discernibly fried rasp reminiscent of Jaz Coleman, he so effortlessly executes spectacular wails akin to Chris Cornell, and even reaches a crooning, almost Steve Perry level in the rather pop-friendly melodies of “Flying with the Crows,” the song’s anthemic groove not dissimilar to the bombast of ‘80s AOR. This is also true of “What a Lie,” which wouldn’t be out of place in a montage sequence in some action/drama of the era, while “Kater” switches from stomping distortions supporting a seemingly unhinged German rant to the dark jazz of the chorus, the boisterous organs of the coda sure to transport listeners to Berlin during the Weimar Republic. “2048” concludes Demons with an ominous narrative reflection on the modern era, with Leuthold grimly stating, “The youth and many more told us to act, told us to save it all, and we even had the knowledge and the power to do it… but so many times in history, stupidity won,” before the whole thing comes to a hauntingly abrupt end.

It might be a misnomer to refer to Nonexister as a supergroup, although each of the band members does have a significant pedigree in the Swiss music scene, so the spirited and vibrant performance and production of Demons easily stands up to the most youthful upstarts. This is a meticulously crafted album unleashed by a highly accomplished band that will hopefully overcome the foreseen desolation to become a bold and celebrated industrial/rock entity.
 
Track list:

  1. Your Pain Up My Veins
  2. Drowning in the Void
  3. How Do You Dare
  4. A Promise in the Air
  5. Where Does Your Mind Go
  6. Kater
  7. Storm
  8. Head in a Hole
  9. What a Lie
  10. Flying with the Crows
  11. 2048

 
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