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Dominant Force

I've always wanted an American muscle car. Like a '69 Dodge Charger or something. Of course I'd need suitable music to go with it as I recklessly speed through the dusty roads and take ridiculous suspension-killing jumps. However, since I don't see myself getting one of those anytime soon I'll just have to settle with searching for the soundtrack. So far the best thing's been Alabama Thunderpussy. Southern stoner for a southern car. But now there's a contender.

It's name is (conveniently) Nitrous. The band is a brainchild of the Estonian drag-racing champion Lauri Kuriks. They call themselves "slayeresque drag race thrash metal". Well, I definitely hear Slayer here and there and the songs are exceptionally about cars, engines, racing etc. so it's safe to say that's a fairly accurate description.

To be quite honest I was very, very critically minded when I put this CD in my player. The thing is I've seen Nitrous live and heard a few sample songs - both experiences failed to impress me. And to be honest "Dominant Force" isn't a superb album either. However it's far better than I thought it was going to be. In fact I must say it's rather good. Based on the previous contacts with Nitrous I expected extremely generic and unoriginal speed metal. In reality, while no pioneers, the band pulls off some pretty nice moves that get my head moving. "Fuel System Alert" for instance has fast shredding as well as slower breakdown riffs that would probably cause a lot of trouble if I was behind the wheel. Same goes for "Trial and Error". The cynic in me has to add that these songs are practically twins. Well it's not that bad nor overly boring but the band obviously wanted to exploit some riffs they really liked. The overall composition is great though and all the pieces have been put together with skill.

As far as the vocals are concerned, the singer of Nitrous is Mart Kalvet, a prominent figure in the Estonian metal scene, more known for his participation in Taak, an outstanding old school Heavy/Doom band. The latter group is generally considered as best fitting for the guy but I must say he handles the more thrashy style superbly on "Dominant Force", bringing in a slight touch of his heavy-side.

All in all what we've got here is a nice piece of speed/Thrash Metal with some hot licks as well as slower holy-shit-the-nitro-just-kicked-in power parts. It's not too original but it works. As a companion in a worthy car with a class A sound system, "Dominant Force" would be awesome. And I must admit that the album has grown on me too even though I'm sitting here in my chair and the only thing similar to the Charger is the soft cushion under my ass. Fair enough, at least I have thrash.

Author: Destroyah
Zine: Metal Storm

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