Protafield – ‘Nemesis’ review
GlassBox Media have been granted access to Protafield’s debut album ‘Nemesis’. After finding success with his solo project, Jayce Lewis has decided to continue his apocalyptic sound with a full band and guest appearances including Queen’s Roger Taylor and Gary Numan. The band have won over fans from touring with the likes of Combichrist and are set to play this years Alt-Fest and Sonisphere festivals in the UK. One thing on our minds was how Protafield would differ from Jayce’s solo material so here is our full review of ‘Nemesis':
The opening track, ‘God-Forced’ was the first song released by the band to preview Protafield’s sound. Pounding drums and synthesizers lead the way as we’re treated to a mix of Nine Inch Nails style melodies and Rammstein’s heavy guitar tone. You could even argue this song isn’t a million miles away from fitting on Rob Zombie’s classic ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ as this stomp filled rager will leave no one standing still on the dance floor.
Next is single number 2 ‘Severe Sever’ and if you’re going to introduce this band to friends who may not be in complete touch with industrial music then this song is the one to go for. It’s fun, bouncy and catchy. Synthesizers lead this track with only minor touches of guitar in the mix. Just like God-Forced it’s hard not to nod your head to this floor filler. So far the bands sound is in a harder and stompier pace than Jayce Lewis’ self titled album.
‘=Pure’ feels oddly like a mix of Korn’s groove and Gary Numan. The pace slows a little as heavy bombastic guitars compliment the drum beat and synth sounds while vocals haunt through my speakers. Keeping with this guitar sound, ‘Perfect Defect’ brings back the tempo and slamming drums as we hear a more metal sound. The verse brings some nicely gated synths leading into the brick wall sounding chorus. I have to say that this album delivers a great combination of heaviness and electronics and this song is a prime example.
‘Wrath’ begins with a simple heavy beat and slowly the song starts to sound like Gary Numan’s later work during the chorus. There’s some unconventional electronics half way through the song but with nothing to complain about as this fresh feeling keeps the song interesting. ‘Acrylic’ is a short instrumental piece which wouldn’t do much during a gig but through a decent pair of speakers is a nice wide sounding break from the heavy sound so far.
Next is ‘Make Believe’ which again has a Gary Numan feel to it with haunting piano before mid tempo drums and guitar kick in presenting a post-apocalyptic feeling. Electronics sneak back in during the second verse along with drums allowing the song to slowly progress to its epic conclusion. The song wouldn’t sound at all out of place if ever used in a dramatic film trailer. ‘Sinner’ brings back the pace with low tuned guitars with some tasteful groove and Fear Factory style guitar work. At one point Jayce’s voice leads the track and you can’t help but be impressed with how the guy can carry a note! Keyboards find their way in again before concluding with low end riffing.
‘Redesign’ brings some lighter guitar work with some really nice drum work by Jack Slade. This track also features the bands friend Gary Numan. The pairs vocals work together great and musically this would have fit nicely on to ‘Jayce Lewis’. ‘Nemesis’ delivers some grinding guitars that begin to develop into a Fear Factory style chorus with minor electronics present. If you’re looking for a metal song on this album then this is the closest you’ll probably get with it. It’s also one of the stronger songs on the album after the first two singles.
‘Mass Effect’ turns down a little and again musically would have fit on to Jayce’s solo album suitably. As far as choruses go on this album, this is a belter and the vocals echo both powerfully and elegantly. This song also presents melodic verses and a general end of album feeling to it. Lastly we have ‘Revolution’. If you don’t like drum solos…you might still like this. Atmospheric synths start us off before blazing drums kick in by Jayce Lewis and Jack Slade accompanied by synths and thick guitars. My only complaint is the outro goes on a bit longer than needed and the drumming could have been longer.
In conclusion, ‘Nemesis’ is a strong debut album with a solid and impressive production. The lead singles may be the stronger songs without a doubt but there is plenty of material on this album to get your teeth into. Their inspirations may be obvious but it is arguably true to say they have more excitement to them than their idols do now. Protafield have the potential to be one of the most important alternative acts the UK has to offer.