Ablaze - Nervochaos

Riffologi 1

What exactly is a "riff"? Most likely derived the term from the somewhat vague "rytmefigur" (Eng.: "rhythm figure"), which simply refers to a short, recurring rhythmic theme; usually played by the guitar and/or bass. As such, speaks the word riff only to the rhythms, but most of the good riffs in history holds of course also an element of melody to create an identity and to capture the listener. Brazilian NervoChaos play a damn lot of riffs on their eighth studio album, Ablaze, and almost all have in common that they lack identity, and you lose the listener on the floor. Fat plektret, and forget the fingerboard.

Blendede riffs

A most unusual thought comes to me about half way through the fifth through listening of Ablaze. You could isolate all the riffs and the corresponding beats in the separate audio files, put them randomly together four and four, and still get the exact same album out. No one would feel the difference, if "Into the Nightside" and "Stalker" exchanged the verse – or any other part of the song for that matter. The album as a whole is a cavalcade of chug, tremolo and triplet-riffs (think "Raining Blood") in the four-quarters, composed with no thought for each other and are often repeated four to eight times longer than they should. The album opens, "Necroccult", starts promisingly with ominous doomy riffing, but halfway through it dawns on me that this is just an instrumental introduction with the two-and-a-half different riffs, which are stretched to three-and-a-half minutes.

Individual bright spots make the album almost bearable to listen to. The first actual song, "the Demonic Juggernaut", inspires respect with a swift and fierce riff, while "Mors Indecepta" create variation by lifting hånddæmpningen, and, moreover, conspicuous by only to last two-and-a-half minutes. Finally riffsammensætningen in "Walk Away" pretty fine. On vokalfronten the biggest hooks in the form of scattered banderåb as, for example, in the "My Dues" and "Downfall". In particular, the latter contains the album's only distinct shrewd moment; namely, in the combination of the initial Full Metal Jacket-sample, and the express marchrytme, which plays up to banderåbene.

The album contains sixteen tracks in all, including one instrumental and three between the samples of an average of one minute. The rest of the songs starts with one or the other no matter the sample; the only exceptions are 2'eren (which comes after instrumentalnummeret) and the songs, there is a between-sample. I was going to write, "what is the meaning?", but I simply believe that these samples are the only thing that keeps the album from seeming like one long shift between predominantly bland riffs. Last, but not least, the album a playing time of well treoghalvtreds minutes, which I honestly also do not understand the reason for. Quality notwithstanding; the style is for thirty-five minutes.

No blood on the tooth.

My overall impression of the Ablaze is that which is bestowed upon few thoughts to the building, both the songs and the album is concerned. A sample of three-four riffs, just as many beats, growls, banderåb and a change of pace is exactly what you get in all of the songs on the album. None of the parts is appreciable powerfully arranged, and very few of riffene leave no impression at all. Detaljerigdommen is minimal, the degree of repetition is maximal, and only the scattered banderåb acts as the hook on the vokalfronten. I had discovered NervoChaos on another show, I would possibly be gone on the discovery in their discography, but Ablaze has not given me blood on the tooth.

>> Check the songs and lyrics here