An Audio Guide To Everyday Atrocity


Mayhem Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Is it possible for an album to leave you exhausted?

Take the latest effort from Washington, DC's own Nothingface, An Audio Guide To Everyday Atrocity. It's a disc that isn't even 40 minutes in length. But its audio attack is so fierce and its lyrical content so raw that I indeed felt tired after spending an afternoon with it. (My ears were also bleeding at times, but I think that had something to do with the volume I was cranking it at.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band - vocalist Matt Holt, guitarist Tom Maxwell, bassist Bill Gaal and drummer Chris Houck - tend to use music as an emotional safety valve, letting out every ounce of anger they have over the course of nine songs. Although it's sometimes difficult to decipher what's being said without the lyrics sheet, one read of that will leave you with no doubt that what you're hearing is raw emotion.

Granted, some might be offended by the imagery that is presented ("Villains"), but you don't have to agree with what you hear in order to feel affected by it. From the opening power chords of "Goldtooth," Nothingface grabs your head and slam-dunks it into the table repeatedly through the power of their performance and the lyrics.

This isn't to say that all you're going to hear is screaming and shouting. Holt knows when it's time to turn down the intensity on the vocals and actually sing the lines. His control of the emotion in this regard ("The Sick") is admirable, and shows there is more to this particular flavor of metal than some would like to believe.

Musically, An Audio Guide To Everyday Atrocity reminds me a lot of Tool, only fiercer. Maxwell's guitar work shows that one does not need the almighty solo to demonstrate their mastery of the instrument, while Gaal and Houck provide a solid backbone to the carnage that is laid out for the listener.

Admittedly, the intensity of such music is not for everyone, and I would have difficulty recommending An Audio Guide To Everyday Atrocity to the beginning metalhead. But for someone looking for a more intense musical outlet, then Nothingface is the answer.

Rating: B

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mayhem Records, and is used for informational purposes only.