Monday, February 6, 2023

Scheitan - Nemesis (1999)

The biggest shocker is that Scheitan, based on the dominant style of Nemesis, seemed to have been signed to Century Media based on the 'black & roll' style they showcased on the first half of their sophomore album Berzerk 2000. You'd think the talent scout would have been a lot more interested in the black metal of the debut, but here we are on a much larger label, with a lot more exposure, playing the accessible rock music but with the same snarling vocals. Fortunately, Nemesis is a bit better developed and more committed to this style than its predecessor. The production is a slight step up and for the most part, the arrangements of the rock riffs are better, the bass playing is more noticeable, and his vocals just work better with the material than they did the last time out.

This is basically a mid-point between such 'black & roll' and just standard, simplistic Gothic metal with snarls instead of deep, manly vocals. They still implement a lot of guest female vocals, probably even more than before, but they still sound awkward and lacking confidence to add an effective dimension of the ethereal or melodic to the tracks. Also, the band gets a little too cocky with dumb ideas like repeating "Emergency" over and over at the end of that track, a dick move that doesn't benefit in any way. A number of the tunes here sound a lot like Kreator's lamented Endorama, only the Germans could dial up their history and add a lot more gravitas to their compositions. There's also a vibe of some Sisters of Mercy, only with the rasping vocals slathered over the top and much heavier guitars punched in. The Cemetery side project Sundown is also a worthwhile comparison, only that project was vastly more catchy and utilized more of an industrial/electronic side.

If you condensed this down to 3-4 of the better tunes, it would be passable for the style, since I do dig the production and it's just catchy enough to warrant a few spins. Unfortunately, on the whole this album is just not much better than its least it's not split between the rock style and the lesser produced black metal which was a pretty big mistake on Berzerk 2000, but despite its slick sound and accessible energy, they just aren't churning out the memorable chorus parts and melodies that would be needed for this to put them on the same level as a number of other European Goth metal acts. So when it comes to my personal interest, Scheitan is a one-and-done, Travelling in Ancient Lands is the go-to and the rest are just shy of a disaster.

Verdict: Indifference [5.5/10]

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