Independent Release

Review by John Davies

I’m proud to say that I have copy #1253 out of the first run limited edition releases of this album. Nemesea are one of my favorite bands, and I wish more people knew about them. Manda Ophuis is an outstanding vocalist, easily on par or surpassing many of the better known femme metal singers out there. “In Control” is Nemesea’s second release, and they took a major change in direction from the symphonic/gothic style of their first album “Mana”. This new album has a more mainstream quality to it, with a mixture of hard rock and electro-industrial. One thing that they did bring over from the “Mana” album is masterful song writing skills and top notch musicianship. Even though this CD has a different sound than “Mana”, it is a magnificent creation none the less. I love the way the first song titled “No More” starts off with Manda singing in a low, quiet voice with dark, mysterious keyboards wavering underneath. Then a sharp, punchy guitar comes in for the verse and we’re off to a very powerful start to a terrific song that sets the pace for the rest of this very energetic CD. “Home” has a lighter feel to it compared to other songs, and Manda’s voice is exceptionally beautiful here. This song brings us into the unfortunate duet with fellow Sellaband artist Cubworld. Maybe I’m biased here because I really don’t care for these male/female duets that seem to be so trendy with euro-metal bands lately, but I find this one particularly hard to take. It just doesn’t belong here. No way. And I find Cubworld’s vocal style totally out of place for this album. It’s just wrong! “Believe” – Don’t listen to this song unless you are ready to give up your heart and soul to Manda, because she will surely tear them from you with this beautiful song. Her voice is beyond description. “Lost Inside”, “Remember” and “Never” are all great numbers with a strong electro-industrial presence. This album has one spellbinding song after another (excepting the duet) and the production/engineering is exceptional. Even the keyboards carry a deadly punch, and the other instruments are super tight. I think what really makes this album a treasure are Manda’s vocals and the amazing choruses. They really are beautiful and very catchy and Manda just fills them with passion. I can’t do her justice with words, all I can say is that once you hear her sing, you’ll be hopelessly hooked. There is a lack of some nice tasty guitar solos on this album, and I know the guitarists in Nemesea are more than capable of delivering them. Perhaps they were trying to avoid the standard formula rock score, but there are many places where a good guitar lead break would have really hit the spot. I have to give the band a slap on the wrist for that annoying duet. Bad! Bad! Please don’t ever do that again! Some songs are definitely verging on the pop side and I hope their next release gets back to more of a metal sound with a stronger guitar presence, although I have no problem at all with the electro-industrial aspects of this CD.

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. No More
  2. In Control
  3. Home
  4. The Way I Feel (feat.Cubworld)
  5. Lost Inside
  6. Remember
  7. Believe
  8. Le Me Out
  9. Like the Air
  10. Broken
  11. Never

 

Line Up

  • Manda Ophius – Vocals
  • George van Olffen – Keyboards
  • HJ – Guitars, Vocals
  • Martjin Pronk – Guitars
  • Sonny Onderwater – Bass, Vocals 
  • Steven Bouma – Drums, Vocals 

 

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