Bringing a level of brutality that we don’t often associate with Australia, the quartet known as Nicolas Cage Fighter comes at you hard and fast with their full-length release, The Bones That Grew From Pain. Thirty-six minutes of explosive Crossover, Death and Thrash Metal combine in a balled fist of aggression that should get fans of all three genres salivating.
Nicolas Cage Fighter – The Bones That Grew From Pain
Metal Blade Records / Blacklight Media Records
Release Date: 22 July 2022
Words: Paul Hutchings
Formed in Ballarat, Victoria, in 2011, NCF didn’t reach for the stars immediately, instead earning their stripes with a patient and steady build with a series of singles and EPs.
The Bones That Grew From Pain is the culmination of that good work and brings groove-soaked breakdowns, barking Death Metal vocals and more riffs than you can cope with.
The album title asks questions, and we find the answer from the band. The record is “about varying degrees of pain, suffering and tribulation,” they told MetalTalk. “Bones are an organic symbol of structure and supposed to install an image of strength and stability. So basically, the record tells narratives of when those two opposites are entwined.”
The Bones That Grew From Pain starts savagely, with the bludgeoning aural assault of Grey Eye, a song that introduces the visceral delivery of singer Nick Moriarty. Words are spat with bile and anger; the drums are rampant, and things get messy and heavy from the start with some piledriving riffing.
It’s dark and intimidating, yet you can’t help but nod along, the desire to do some solo headbanging very much present.
It’s a feverish eruption as each song finishes and segues into the next. There’s the giant sound of Coughing Nails which inevitably will be punishing in the pit. Static Abyss focuses on over industrialisation of the planet and the destruction that is inevitable because of excessive consumption. It’s a brute of a song with a message that hits home hard.
And does a track titled Weeping Sores give you any illusion of the sheer velocity that’ll come raging out of the speakers?
Whilst the band are very much focused on the Death Metal vibe, there is plenty of driving crossover flavours across the album. The short stomp of Compound And Fracture is described as the band’s “fuck you song.” You can see why with the punishing intensity and lyrics centred on personal responsibility.
Then we get Foundation with its slower, grinding riff and a heaviness that is as intense as anything on the album.
The band comprises Justin Ellis on guitar, Tom Bardwell on bass and drummer Matt Davenport who join Moriarty. Self-produced and engineered by Kye Blomeley, this is an album that brings NCF up towards the top table.
Ferocious from start to finish, it’s an album well worth a listen. But have that neck brace on ice.