"Cacophony of Terror"

By El Chief

I was already having a pretty shitty day. Eight hours of work often puts me in a foul mood. Pretending to play nicely with others takes more effort than it's worth. The route home was filled with the usual suspects: drivers demanding to merge at the last minute, others cruising slowly in the fast lane, and for the night cap, waiting behind customers ordering one of everything off the menu board when all I wanted was a cheap, cardboard-tasting chocolate freaking shake. Then when I'm already feeling peak Daniel Plainview, I come home to find my computer shit the bed and a legion of ants were waging war on the expansive (for them) battlefield between my toilet and sink.
Turned out, all of that drama served to be a perfect mood-setter for cracking open the debut album from Tampa, Fla. noisemakers Nightmarer ("Cacophony of Terror").

"The Descent" sounded just like you would expect it to. Sludgy chords oozed onward by a relentless d-beat until it melted into "Stahlwald," and I finally get my first taste of vocalist John Collett (ex-Dehumanized). It's at this point where I couldn't help but think about the awfully shitty Suicide Silence, but just as the bile built beyond my trachea, a merciful groove emerged. But just as fast as the respite came, Nightmarer snatched it away. The groove was gone, only drone remained. 

Shortly after, a pulsing synthesizer that sounded like Nine Inch Nails being fully deconstructed rose from the morass. The clashing, repeating chords evoked the memory of a broken turn signal lighting the path to hell. And that's when it hit me: industrial rock merged with death metal was kind of a cool mash-up.
Round about the time "Bleach" and "Cave Digger" kicked in, the album felt like it was already running out of gas. But the lull was deceiving. It's like a heavy bag that you hit once, twice and then say, fuck it, let me grab a sledgehammer and be done with it. And that's when you hear Collett scream in "Fetisch": I must escape/What will it take to rush right out your door. And you say, that fucking guy, he gets me.

There's something inviting about Collett's growl. It's like he's forever pulling the longest draw on the deepest bong of all time. Just fucking let it out, man. 
Honestly, he might be the best part of the outfit, and that includes the steady hands of drummer Paul Seidel (The Ocean, Burning Skies). Guitarist Simon Hawemann was given little to do on "Cacophony of Terror." His work rarely amounted to more than a sustained note, and the liner note said bassist S. Braunshmidt helped fill out the band's sound in the studio but will not be part of any subsequent live performances.

For whatever you think about Nightmarer's approach to primordial metal, "Cacophony of Terror" does the job at pulling a perpetually grouchy old fuck like me back to being at least somewhat functional members of society. When an industrial metal reworking of "Cave Digger" wafted past my ears to close out the album, my frustration and anger were emotions shoved to the past and only resolve to face another day remained.