'The Cleansing' is the fifth full length from Swedish old school death Metallers, Nominon, the follow up to 2010s 'Monumentomb' and the first to feature Henke Skoog (also Eviscerated and Inverted Cross) on vocal duty. Considered by the band to be their darkest and most malevolent, Henke's rasping, blood curdling yet comprehensible vocals certainly do lend a sinister edge to the sound.
'The Cleansing' is old school, fast and brutal. There may not be anything new or unique but it is played with face ripping passion and conviction.
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I personally found the album to be very much one of two halves, both good, very intense, but the first half slightly less inventive than the second half. The opening intro, 'Satanical Incubation' is a haunting noisescape which jumps straight into the fast and furious, 'In The Name Of Gomorrah'.
Opening with a soaring vocal moan, 'Mausoleum', drops away at the midpoint to just the bass and drum, lending a reflective edge briefly before the returning to its former intensity. At this point Per Karlsson pulls out all the stops with his drum work on this noteworthy track which is the better of the first six.
A pulsating drone and blood curdling opening scream are the precursors to the audio mayhem that is 'Unholy Sacrifice'.
Title track, 'The Cleansing', is a short, sharp, manic and explosive ending instrumental, followed by the frantic and soaring riffs of 'Abhorrent Parasites'.
On the final four tracks, Nominon really seem to up their game, saving, in my opinion their best for last, with a greater and more skilled use of tempo change making these tracks so much more of an interesting listen and my favourite tracks of the album.
'Hellwitch' opens on a tolling bell, beginning in a slow and sinister manner but building all the way up to ear shredding brutality.
On 'Obliteration' there is a sinister tempo drop midway and as the pace picks up you are treated to a great little guitar solo while 'Son Of Doom' interestingly opens with a spoken intro from a Vincent Price film, continues with catchy dark riffs, blood curdling vocals and a slower sinister interlude half way before the final audio onslaught.
The final track 'Infernal Rites' has excellent soaring, catchy riffs and is a good album ender.
Overall a good album and if you like old school Swedish death Metal then you should love this. You will also enjoy it more after a few listens; with such an intense wall of sound you need a few spins to get fully into the feel of the album. There is also an a extra track, 'Slaughter the Imposter' which appears only on the vinyl version of the album.
'The Cleansing' is out now.