I am torn. The record I like, yet something is bothering me – especially in the second half of the album. The 2011 concoction The Quiet Resistance of the Dutch Gothic Metal outfit Nemesea is actually not bad. But somehow it lacks some juice in some places.
And mind you, compared to the former album In Control, this is a step up and much darker in style and lyrics. More oomph and energy, varied track lengths, hard and soft alternating nicely. And – I daresay – much less filled with highly synthesized pop elements. So, it should be all there right?
Still, I got an itch.
Very well interpreted by Nemesea‘s frontwoman Manda Ophuis, The Quiet Resistance somehow comes across as Pop Metal – even if a lot of Gothic Metal is built into the tune. Well-paced in some areas, but missing sound and energy (yes, still) in others.
Taking off with a somewhat special (or should we call it weird) The Quiet Resistance, the title song. A whispered nightmare of something you would not like to meet at night, with a truly meaty guitar underlay. Deep and dark as the good doctor ordered. This one hooked me straight, by the way. Very evil and foreboding – I like it.
This leading directly into the second song Caught in the Middle, well-paced, fast and well constructed. This combination actually got me really interested in this album in the first place. The two lead tracks are followed by an equally good Afterlife, which comes with an official video linked down below.
Here the album slowly starts to flatten somewhat. 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 Manda‘s vocals to a dark version of Evanescence-esque prowess. Pretty cool.
High Enough will test your patience at first. In the beginning very unremarkable, but then Charlotte Wessels of Delain comes along as a guest contributor with Manda Ophuis on this track. And this is where the track really takes off with some serious oomph. I was mighty surprised and it spices things up. The whole song has some sort of an Amaranthe-ish touch. But well done nonetheless.
Most 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. Somewhat of a black hole, killing some of the fun the record induced before – a pity. But then again, The Quiet Resistance is somewhat of a mixed bag. Good for some of them tracks and not quite so good for others. 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, comes the last song Allein, just when I wanted to switch off. This is the bonus track on The Quiet Resistance. And as often is the case, those rock. Bang! Awake! Rock’n’Roll! Yeehaa! A mix of English and German, directly connecting to the first two songs – bad, dark, evil lyrics. Just the way I like it.
So, what have we got in the end?
As I said, I am torn. The record is very good in some areas, less so in others, then again catchy at the most surprising moments. And the surprise part, plus the added speed, stellar energy and darker, very Gothic orientation of it are THE reasons that make The Quiet Resistance a good album.
On top of that, they have moved away from their former experimental, very synthie-pop oriented style to something with much more substance. All of this provides a much better identity to the brand Nemesea. The theme of the album is much more at ease with the band’s Gothic roots than its predecessor In Control ever was.
In other words, we got ourselves a worthy successor to their last album.
Go and get it: