I am torn. The record I like, yet something is bothering me – especially in the second half of the album. Yet, the 2011 concoction The Quiet Resistance of the Dutch Gothic Metal outfit Nemesea clearly has us in its shiny claws. But something doesn’t quite sync. Only, what is it?
Clearly, In Control was a difficult record to stomach. Its pop-infused synth rock just couldn’t warm our cold metal hearts, and for cause. Yet, The Quiet Resistance captivated us from the get-go.
Pretty abundant oomph and energy, varied track lengths, hard and soft at pretty even play. They still like their urge to pop, though. Yet, this album gets you metal power and that juice that we sorely missed on its predecessor.
Nemesea‘s frontwoman Manda Ophuis feels much stronger on this album, too. The Quiet Resistance does contain some Pop Metal still, yet the Gothic and Melodic Metal injections prevail. And that is a good thing.
The record leads off with a somewhat special (try weird) The Quiet Resistance, the title song. A whispered nightmare of something you should never meet at night, with a truly meaty guitar underlay. Deep and dark as the good doctor ordered. This one set its steely hooks into us right away. And it does talk to our dark souls, it’s so evil.
This leads directly into the second song Caught in the Middle, a well-paced Melodic Metal track if there ever was one. And you should never take two when you can have a third one for free, right? Well, the crunchily aggressive Afterlife really took us by storm (video below).
So, now we got ourselves the rule of three of sorts. It’s this strategy that bands serve three good tracks first. And then stuff the disk full with mediocre material. Well, never fear. The Quiet Resistance doesn’t suffer too much from that trait.
However, the delivery curve of the record starts to flatten after that. The remarkable highlights in this section are If you Could, a sad ballad, full of haunted heartbreak. Say surprises by ending up being a power song of sorts stretching Ophuis’ vocals to a dark version of Evanescence-esque prowess. And that’s pretty cool.
High Enough will test your patience at first. But then Charlotte Wessels of Delain will chime in as a guest contributor with Manda Ophuis on this track. And this is where things really take off with some serious spice. The whole song has some sort of an Amaranthe-ish touch. But without the pitfalls the latter so ardently sports.
Some of the remaining songs start to be a bit (way) too electronic for my taste, kind of a Depeche Mode-induced pop metal style for some of them. And this – sadly – pulls the quality of the album down some. In other words, Nemesea‘s dark electro urges sometimes bubble to the surface. And not always in a good way.
Indeed, The Quiet Resistance is somewhat of a mixed bag. Suddenly the band lets loose with an abundance of power, just to swerve into some sort of space rock next. A further pity is the somewhat scarce selection of solos in there. The most memorable, albeit short one to be found in Release Me.
But then, oh surprise, Allein hits the tracklist. And just when I wanted to switch off and move on. This is the bonus track on The Quiet Resistance. And as often is the case, those last morsels rock.
Bang! Awake yet again! Rock’n’Roll! Yeehaa!
A mix of English and German, directly connecting to the first two songs – bad, dark, evil lyrics. Heli Reissenweber of Stahlzeit did the Rammstein-esque lyrics on that tracks. As is their wont, of course – they are a tribute band for the latter. And Manda Ophuis on full display and in full form. Just the way we like it.
So, what did The Quiet Resistance finally deliver?
Well first, this is a good record. The band delivers a varied mix of great metallic power and abundant ideas. And this leads to a piece that never bores and never gripes.
We truly fancied the added speed, stellar energy, and this darker, very Gothic orientation. And this turns The Quiet Resistance into one of the best albums Nemesea ever did. In the end, it is this spottiness that really irked us at times. And almost got on our bad side. But only almost.
Yet finally, our misgivings were relatively small potatoes. The Quiet Resistance is a fun record from a band in its prime.
In other words, we got ourselves a worthy successor to their last album.