Before we go anywhere I'd just like to point out the album artwork...I don't go out of my way to look for faults but this one caused my eyes actual discomfort, I mean look at it! What the fuck IS it? It's like a dyslexic Rubik's Cube...a colorblind dyslexic Rubik's Cube...it's quite possibly the ugliest looking album I've seen this year so far. HOWEVER, not wanting to be superficial, I continue and look-up the bands biography on Facebook. Oh boy. "Know Your Nemesis started out after a concert at the Audunbakken festival." ...Wait, what? They played a show THEN started? They met at the festival? Their formation was vague and coincidentally timed but had no actual connection to said festival? This is useless information at best..."Since then we have produced a bunch of songs, recorded some of them, and most important of all, played a lot of gigs"...this is riveting...their lack of enthusiasm actually impresses me...I'm beginning to feel that If I proceed further then the ghost of Jeremy Beadle will turn up to say this is an elaborate yet pointless prank...and I haven't even gotten to any music yet!
The album opens up with "Fade Away" and for what it's worth the introduction here is actually really promising, guitarist Marius Haugen does a superb job getting things underway; his playing is slick and oh so melodic, the riff-work on the bridge leads through perfectly and on first impressions this makes up for everything so far, that is until lead vocalist Ole Petter Bjørnseth enters the fray and things go a little bit downhill. Dual vocals switching between clean and aggressive can work but they have to complement each other, and while his snarls find themselves sounding somewhere between Anders Friden of IN FLAMES and Angela Gossow, formerly of ARCH ENEMY, his clean vocals tend to fall a little flat and really this issue plagues the album as a whole.
Despite it's jerky start, "Metaphor Of Broken Dreams" tries to improve upon this with a more metal-lead track, and "Are We Alone (Unholy War)" benefits from being politically charged, it's message is something we can get behind in today's socio-political climate all too realistically, and the solo here is on point, while tracks like "So Be It" and "End Of Me" do house some quality musical moments, providing brief highlights, but the all-too consistent tedium of the clean vocals and the undeniable feeling that, these tracks seem to drag on results in an annoyingly boring listen; there's no real life here and for a metal band, that's really quite disappointing. For a band who cite IRON MAIDEN as an influence, they certainly should be a bit more vibrant and energetic...know your nemesis? Sadly, you need to look in the mirror, you are holding yourselves back here.