Well, folks, it’s time for another album review and, this time around, we’ll be reviewing Nawabs of Destruction’s (formerly known as Sleep Paralysis) long awaited debut album, Rising Vengeance! Let me tell you, after hearing the entire album, you can feel the utter vengeance flowing in their veins!
First off, a little bit of background of the band’s two members (after all, this is a two-man project) will help you understand their versatility as musicians. Taawkir Tajammul, notable guitarist and mixer/producer for the band, Shontrash (সন্ত্রাস), is quite talented, as he not only plays the guitar for NOD (Nawabs of Destruction), but he also plays keyboards and does everything else, including the programming and backing vocals. He also plays the drums for his melodic death metal band, In Exile. Saad Anwar aka Desekrator is also just as talented; not only is he the vocalist of NOD, but he was also the vocalist of critically acclaimed blackened death metal band, Jahiliyyah, was the drummer and founding member of the progressive/melodic death metal band Cynosure, and is still drumming for his experimental metal band, Sent Men Revolt.
Now that we got the members’ brief history out of the way, let’s talk about NOD’s debut album, Rising Vengeance. The artwork for the album, which is done by Jorge Vimendy of Sick Graphics Production, is absolutely incredible, as the imagery itself sort of sets the tone of the entire album. The monster’s head and the background landscape both look otherworldly, with the humanoid figure standing in the middle of everything as if it were either about to enter or leave this other world. It gives a great sense of atmosphere, too, which is perfect because the genre of metal that NOD plays is indeed Progressive/Technical/Atmospheric Death Metal. The listener can easily feel this sense of atmosphere in all eight songs of the album.
One thing the listener will notice is how each track is progressively heavier than the last; the miasma of impending doom increasing ever so slightly in each track. The first track, “Beginning of the End,” portrays the feeling of inevitable doom of a soul who’s running out of time, a soul whose end is inescapable. The song starts off with this haunting yet serene sound of acoustic guitar and clean vocals that delves into a haunting sound of distortion and monstrous growls. The technicality and melodiousness of the guitar and drum work is impeccable and carries through the rest of the album.
The second track which is also the title track, “Rising Vengeance,” gets heavier straight from the beginning, even though it starts off with clean yet aggressive vocals. The keyboard work can be heard from the beginning, as well, which plays into the accumulating miasma and tone I mentioned earlier that increases throughout the album. The best thing about this track is the small intermezzo, if you will, within the track where the keyboard part really shines (right around 8:52-9:02). Then, right at 9:21, you start to hear the duality of the vocals, with the clean vocals preceding a phenomenal show of guitar shredding (courtesy of Taawkir Tajammul), and then growls being accompanied by the backing clean vocals. It ends that way, too; quite a fitting ending to this track, I feel.
The third track, “Reincarnation,” starts off with a very technical yet pulverizing drum solo and a very deep, guttural, demonic growl, courtesy of Desekrator. It perfectly follows suit with the ongoing theme of the increasingly impending feeling of the miasma of doom, considering that this track is, of course, heavier (and more technical) than the last! It’s a much faster number, too, at the beginning. The guitar work is absolutely amazing in this track because it really shows the intricate depth of Taawkir’s versatility in style and skill. The bass lines in this song really stands out in the way it intertwines with the chugging riffs, especially in the middle of the song. Desekrator’s growls throughout the track sound quite infernal, adding to the recurring atmospheric theme.
“Sleep Paralysis,” the album’s fourth track, gets even heavier in every aspect. It’s in this track that you hear the dynamic range of Desekrator’s hellish growls and screams. As soon as the track starts to slow down in the middle, that recurring theme of doom and horror progresses even further. All I can say is that if you’ve ever experienced actual sleep paralysis—which I have on more than a few occasions—that sense of anxiousness and entrapment you feel, this track would be a great background accompaniment to that feeling.
“Rise of the Warlords” is the album’s fifth track, and it starts off with a beautiful guitar solo that sounds like a warning or calling of an upcoming war, which is very fitting, considering the track’s title. Immediately after the guitar solo, an onslaught of gut-wrenching drums and frenzied guitar riffs ensue, followed by a sense of tranquility, with the solemnly recited words, Si vis pacem, para bellum, which is a Latin adage translated as “If you want peace, prepare for war.” Totally fitting for this war ensemble of a song, as this recited adage leads into another onslaught of pulverizing drums and frenzied guitar riffs, accompanied by Desekrator’s monstrous growls! Of course, following through with their recurring atmospheric theme, this song is definitely heavier than the last. The keyboards in this track do a great job in raising the atmospheric tone, as well. To understand the technical depth of each instrument’s involvement in this track, you’ll just have to listen to it. All I will say is that it is incredibly profound.
The album’s sixth track, “The Evil Within,” starts off quite melodically and melancholically, but then almost immediately transforms into a sudden barrage of super heavy and aggressive guitar riffs and licks, with a side of insane blast-beats of the drums. It sounds and feels immensely evil indeed, especially with Desekrator’s evil sounding growls. However, the contrast with Taawkir’s innocent yet aggressive sounding clean vocals really deepens the evil atmosphere in this number, adding to the continuation of the recurring atmospheric theme. The guitar solo in this song is quite easy to fall in love with and notable, also.
“In the Verge of Death,” the album’s seventh track, starts off right away with the feeling that this is how Death himself would sound as he whispers in your ear when you have your brush with death. Desekrator’s vocals is truly dark and really shines in this track. It’s really quite awesome yet uncanny! The guitar riffs in this song are pleasingly heavy and gives this number a much heavier sounding edge when comparing it with the previous number. The drums in this track are, of course, killer and adds to the brutality this song portrays.
The eighth and the very last track, “The Merciless,” has quite a serene opening that transforms into a tremendous show of Taawkir’s guitar skills. Add to that Desekrator’s doomsday growls and you have a truly merciless display of the end-of-times. The added background of the mind-melting sounds of the keyboards and Taawkir’s clean vocals in the middle of the track, along with Desekrator’s sermon of the coming apocalypse at the end completes the haunting package of the all-encompassing, complete embodiment of impending doom.
All in all, Nawab Of Destruction’s debut album, Rising Vengeance, was successfully able to create this miasmic feeling and tone of impending doom which is, essentially, the recurring theme and essence of every track. They were able to keep this theme flowing in every track and made it so every composition bled this essence more than the last until the final drop (the last track). It’s quite rare to see a band in Bangladesh accomplish this task as successfully as these guys have; the passion for musical precision is very prevalent in the members of this band and it could be heard in every note, every beat, as well as every word. The passion for musical vengeance is in their blood. Just give this album a listen, and you will hear and understand exactly what I’m talking about!
Saad Anwar aka Desekrator – all vocals (Sent Men Revolt, ex – Jahiliyyah, Cynosure)
Taawkir Tajammul – all instruments and productions (Shontrash, In Exile)
You can stream the album on the following link
Album review written by Toufiq Hayder (Hridoy)