When Cleveland quintet, Nine Shrines released their EP Misery back in 2017 there was more than enough to start tremors of interest. After two years the band have finally delivered a full scale quake.
Led by ex Attack Attack drummer Andrew Wetzel and vocalist Chris Parketny, the band have enlisted the help of producer Dan Korneff to develop their sound. Channelling their nu metal roots, the band manage to combine the dark side of the genre with big choruses and viscous instrumentation you'll find on tracks like Nimrod, Ghost and Pretty Little Psycho.
The drums are ferocious: wall to wall kicks, snares, high hats, triplicates and an onslaught of crashes. Strangely for a rock album there's little space for solo guitar work. Much of the album relies on keyboard runs to replace the traditional guitar riff - Chain Reaction - being an obvious example - when the axe does fall, it comes down fast. For the most part, it's used rhythmically to bolster and supplement the attack of the percussion. Even the vocals build a barricade of sound that's augmented with punchy pop lilts and guttural snarls from the pit of Hell.
Forceful, cathartic and unforgiving from the start, the debut album from Nine Shrines proves that retribution is worth the wait.
Groupie rating 4/5