Being located outside the US, I'm commonly underexposed to the American metal scene that bands in other nations desire so much to be a part of. Although home to nearly all of the commercial abominations, for every 'artist' that enjoys heavily-marketed-yet-fleeting chart success there's real artists with real talent playing real music. Nothingface are one of these talents. Unheard of here in Australia, it's good to see the greedy American bastards aren't hoarding ALL of their good bands just for themselves!
This Washington crew take pride in the fact that they are not nu-metal, but are just as poundingly heavy as any other and have no annoying rap nuances too. While reminiscent of the current crop of Bay Area bands such as Skinlab and 40 Grit, they have a distinctly different feel to their brand of noise as compared to other modern-day heavy contemporaries. The sledgehammer riffing is here but carries a slight melodic and dynamic flavour to it. They aren't afraid to venture into more mellow passages, complete with acoustic strumming and harmonised clean vocals. Groove and hooks play a major factor in inducing what would certainly become one of the most tumultuous mosh pits ever when this album gets a live airing. 'Violence' starts with a truly befitting opening track called 'Make Your Own Bones', that is nothing short of a well-toned delivery of mind-crushing heaviness delivery an apocalyptic vibe. Alike passages of sheer limb-thrashing fury make up the core of sonic bombs such as 'Same Solution', 'Can't Wait for Violence' and 'Blue Skin'. Yet for every step taken towards utter domination is an equal step towards agitated pensiveness in 'For All the Sin' and 'Dead Like Me'. These breaks in the bludgeoning explore a different facet of Nothingface's sound, and demonstrate their ability to create soft musical passages as well as the overpowering heaviness. Clean vocals are used extensively, sometimes overused, and appear to be double-tracked for a majority of the album. The harmonising between the two vocal lines works surprisingly well and adds another musically proficient aspect to the album's sound.
'Violence' has a heart running through it that proudly beats to a varied and well-executed tune. It does however become slightly one-dimensional in some places, losing a bit of its lustre but this really is only a tiny drawback. With development and experience under their belts however, this can easily be fixed. One day Nothingface could very well be a name we'll all be familiar with, even here in Australia.
Reviewed by: Kev Truong