First impressions are an affair that all aspiring music journalists and, well, the rest of society should do away with. That being said, I was unfortunately, slightly influenced by first impressions when I first heard the intro to the New Orleans progressive metal band, Nothing More and their song, This Is The Time (Ballast).
The over-produced and artificial sounding intro turned my fixation elsewhere as I browsed through my emails and social medias. Then it happened: the guitars kicked in the door without warning and turned this simple case of “boring”, into “this could be better than boring.”
When it all kicked in, I was left with the thoughts of Mars Volta, Coheed Cambria and TheSet, all dashing around in my mind.
This quartet has been making tunes for over ten years now and this is the third album they’ve put out. Judging from what I’m hearing from This Is The Time, I can’t see why they haven’t hit it big yet; there’s a compelling mixture of almost djent metal, but at the same time, accessible and exciting alternative rock.
I think what’s turning me on most about their music is how much like TheSet they actually sound, with blends of post-hardcore with progressive rock and such.
Jonny Hawkins throws down some mad vocals on this track, showing off the fact that his range can jump and splatter all over the room. There are the shrill highs and the rusty low growls; the fact that he pulls these off without sounding too cliché is incredible. The amount of control this guy excersises is also impressive. Obviously, it is a studio release, but it’s easy to see where you could let a vocalist like this get carried away, but Hawkins restrains and pulls off a consistent and powerful performance.
Also, I just need to put this out there: the breakdown is absolute filth and I adore every second of it.
Which brings me to the guitars and bass of this song: they’re strong, punchy and varied enough to keep the listener interested for longer than a period of 4 minutes. Meaning: I want to hear more!
I will be heading to my local music shop/place of work to pick this CD up next time I’m in. If you like prog metal, or any vein of alternative rock/metal, I recommend you check these guys out. Nothing More’s self titled might prove to be one of 2014’s most exciting and progressive releases so far.
Give them your time and, if you feel strongly with this music, your money.