The UK metal scene has been rather fruitful in the last few years. With more bands breaking through, offering something slightly different, and cementing their place amongst the best in metal, the competition has become much more fierce for emerging bands to make a memorable name for themselves. Rising from the ashes of noise rockers CANAYA comes NOMASTA, a three piece outfit who arrive on the scene with their debut effort; House of the Tiger King. But, with the competition in UK metal being so fierce, does this debut album do enough to warrant your attention?
House of the Tiger King begins with a short introductory track in the form of Death Rattles. Anticipation is built up steadily as the pace of NOMASTA‘s sound starts to work through the gears before seamlessly flowing into Book Burners and this where NOMASTA really begin to show what they are all about. Dirty, gritty and menacing down-tuned riffing carries the weight of the track here whilst Owen Wilson‘s barking vocal lines pack a powerful punch but it’s in the chorus where the band really demonstrate their diversity as intricate guitar melodies and Wilson‘s utilisation of soaring clean vocals really steal the spotlight. It’s a solid start to the record.
From there, NOMASTA really begin to hit their stride as their musical influences start to become apparent. Sir Impaler‘s mid-tempo crunching pace harks to the band’s adoration for stoner metal and despite containing few surprises, the track maintains a head-bobbing atmosphere throughout whilst This Trail Got The Best Of Us showcases a huge influence from HIGH ON FIRE‘s Matt Pike in the vocal department. It’s clear that NOMASTA wear their influences on their sleeves and it bleeds into their sound consistently throughout House of the Tiger King‘s duration.
Sounding akin to your heroes isn’t necessarily a bad thing but to really make a name for yourself, you have to do something special and thankfully in NOMASTA‘s case there are moments throughout House of the Tiger King that truly showcase their potential for greatness. Alchematic is a clear example of this as it is perhaps the most enjoyable and mesmerising track on the record. Boasting swinging time signature changes, gorgeous and equally eerie guitar play and some of the strongest clean vocal deliveries on the record, the track demonstrates NOMASTA really finding their groove and the adrenaline-pumping experience found on Hard As A Coffin Nail is utterly satisfying to experience. It’s moments like this that showcase the quality at NOMASTA‘s disposal, one which makes them an exciting prospect for sure.
House of the Tiger King isn’t without its flaws, there are moments on the record that don’t quite stand as strong and the band’s clear-cut musical influences can act more as a hindrance rather than a strengthening factor. That being said, there is more enough quality present on this record, enough gritty riffing, slick hooks and enough character that will keep you coming back for another listen. NOMASTA have crafted a record that more than showcases their potential as an exciting band to watch develop in UK metal.
House of the Tiger King is out now via Hyde & Seek.
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