I like to wait and see before committing. I was the last person in the world to go on Social Media, I was the last on the planet (except my dad, who still hasn’t) to get a smart phone. I am the type of fella who brought a Minidisc instead of an iPod, and I’ve still only seen two things on Netflix (the Motley Crue film, is a bag of shit by the way, on a related point).
In that spirit, then, I’ve got to say that if Nu-metal passed me by back in the 2000s, then I must admit to developing a real liking for the nu-wave of nu-metal (which I am now calling it).
Hot on the heels of the American Sin record I reviewed a month or so back, comes the debut from Nine Shrines, who like AS are from Ohio, and who like them all have a background in other bands from the area, and who like them have big intentions and a bigger sound.
But why “Retribution Therapy” really scores is that it seethes. It doesn’t just rage, it gets incredibly temperamental. Put it like this. Nine Shrines have the mentality of a thrash metal band (the anger here is something akin to “Burn My Eyes) put wrap it around the same kind of sound as Five Finger Death Punch.
“Nimrod” the opening song, is actually a fair assessment as to the rest of it. Big riffs, a quiet verse that you know is going to explode, and it doesn’t even hide the fact that it wants the chorus to be memorable.
That said, its not the line “I never thought I could feel hate like this” that scares here, it’s the whispered threats. I don’t know if singer Chris Parketny has kids, or nieces and nephews, but if he ever reads them bedtime stories then the poor things are never going to sleep again.
The title track is supremely heavy, and I imagine that the moshpit it engenders is going to be something like a Slipknot gig. “Chain Reaction” (First line: “I’ll give you one shot for sympathy”) almost wants you to fight it, and it adds some mid 90s industrial touches too.
“Ringworm” sticks a wrecking ball through organised religion, and the twin guitar attack from Andrew Baylis and rhythm guitarist Even McKeever creates something arena shaking. “Happy Happy” passes here as something of a ballad, but has touches of Papa Roach (they share a producer in Dan Korneff).
There is a real gang mentality here. “Dead” suggests you’d best not to take them on, “Conjure” exists in a shadowy world of drugs (“Mary, Mary quite contrary, dip my nose in snow”) but is catchy and radio ready. The same goes for all the others too.
“Pretty Little Psycho” downtunes to almost Godsmack levels, “Ghost”, the longest thing here, has a Seether type of vibe, and to describe “Sick Like Me” as anything less than groovy, would be to do it a huge disservice – and if nothing else, enjoy its dissection of a dysfunctional relationship.
“Counterfeit” is something like close to blunt force trauma in musical form, and if there was always going to be a song here called “Rage” then still the line: “I am out on the warpath, looking for a bloodbath” chills all kinds of blood.
There is an element of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” here as the closing “Animal” rather proves (but then, it was never going to be a Def Leppard cover, was it?) but Nine Shrines do it superbly well.
“Retribution Therapy” probably sounds like loads of modern bands that I’ve never heard. Or heard of. But if past history proves anything, I’ll get round to them in about 2029. By which time they’ll probably be re-releasing this to celebrate it’s tenth anniversary with a load of bonus tracks. Because records this good will go Gold.