By Boris Lee
Metal music is a genre that many say has seen its “Glory Years”, and should be one with the worms. The genre has NOT had the commercial successes it once did in the ’80’s, though metal music is still holds a place on the market to this day. The birth of the festival has presented rejuvenated energies into the pit, and, presented opportunities for icons, and the future rulers of the genre to share a stage. So, I do not believe Metal Music is dead and buried.
Reality is that there is an over saturation of metal bands that are not that good, sound the same as rival bands, and have not had the ambition to do something ORIGINAL, since Jinx Dawson, of Coven, raised the horns above her head. (Sorry, Dio, you are the greatest Metal vocalist of all time, but she did it first, and you popularized it.) When I attend a live show, and I have no idea that the band on stage has changed, because they sound exactly like who was just performing before them, I can see why things are not where some delusional “Metalist”, think the metal scene should be. However, that is a discussion of potentially heated debate for another time. My reason for bringing this “State of the Metal Union Address” to your attention is this… there are STILL bands out there who dare to break the mold in some fashion or another. These are the bands that reach some semblance of successes, and their efforts show in product, live performance, and loyal a fan base.
Once upon a time, in Arlington Texas, a little band know as Nytrate, decided to break the mold.
Nytrate has been around since 2015. The band quickly gained a local “Texican” fan base, and began to play shows, opening for international touring acts, such as Accept, John 5, Night Demon, among others. Much like any new creation in the developmental process, Nytrate under went changes, which were all for the better, as the band has evolved into a well oiled machine as of my writing this article. The intelligence of the band is balanced with their talents. The combination of creating good music, playing the right shows that would support their own talents just as much as warm up the crowds for the headline acts, and not over saturating the market with an underdone product, Nytrate has a formula for success. This culminated on, March 30, 2018, at Tree’s in Dallas Texas, where Nytrate opened for the amazing, John 5 and The Creatures. This night would also mark the release of Nytrate’s debut album. This debut album by Nytrate, showcases the bands ability to do something DIFFERENT and fresh!
Alli ‘The Siren’ Clay – Vocals/Screams/Wrath
Jimmy “Smooth” aka The Rifleman Adcock – Guitars
Zevron Zeau aka The Necromancer – Bass/Backing Vox/Quips
Ta-k’ho – Drums/Backing Vox/Hair God
*Photo By Daisy McKiss
The collaborative energies of Nytrate, translated into a debut album that is a showcase of each member’s individual talents, and ability to compliment each other in an “Old School” fashion. The metal music community has long since had a band come along that brings the energy that Nytrate does on their debut album. All Killer, NO, filler, does indeed apply here.
The opening track to the album, “Regret” kicks things off with a drum beat that pays homage to classic metal anthem fashion songs, yet when Zev joins in on the bass, the beat takes on a modern stroke. Nytrate guitarist, Jimmy Adcock’s, Vivian Campbell fashioned “Riffology”, joins the melodic fray, setting the stage for The Siren, to cast her vocal spell upon the listener’s ears.
The second track, “Know It All”, may actually be the true mentality of the band, as far as song placement on the album is concerned. The pace of the song is slower then that of it’s predecessor, the rhythm heavier, bringing about a statement of the band’s diversity.
“Insane”. This song bares feeling within the lyrics, and translates into Alli’s vocal performance, almost as though the song is an emotional venting for The Siren. Actual emotional content in lyrics today is rare in music as a whole, not just in the Metal Music community. “Insane” is a refreshing release from the standard metal music track, and I find it the perfect song to keep the listeners appetites moist and wanting, and assist in building up to the first of the three highlights of the album.
“Your Time to Die” … Nytrate played their cards right, in releasing this song as essentially the first single off the album. The heightened pace of the song, the brutal rhythmic pulse created by bass and drums working in proper unison, is the perfect foundation for Jimmy to lay his amazing guitar licks over. Alli Clay displays a Majickal vocal range within just this song alone, that shows her ability to balance intensity with finesse. (The entire band does this as unit too, Alli stand out here though). If there ever was a time when the vocalist styling’s of the legendary band, Heart, procreated with Rob Zombie, this song by Nytrate would be said Spawn of that copulation.
G.F.Y., the next track on the album, has a commercial feel that does not lose its ability to stay original, and send a message of love and caring sentiment to those whom have scorned one in life. (:)).
“Death in the Family”, the sixth original track on the album, is intense and wild. A little bit of a smash up brutality and “Balladic” composure that takes one back to when music actually presented things such as… TEMPO CHANGE AND STRUCTURE! It does a good job covering all of Nytrate’s bases in musical creativity.
Track number seven is the second highlight of the album, and the strongest song on the entire album. “Back to The Grind”, opens with tutorial in metal music making, with a perfectly balanced piece between Jimmy’s guitar work and the entire rhythm section. Zev beats the bass like Geezer Butler and the “Hair God”, lays down drum tracks that are perfect in beat and tonality, reminding me of Scott Travis. When Alli comes in with her vocals, there is no doubt left as to why she is known as, The Siren. Powerful vocals, on key and pitch, in unison with her bandmates, NOT over shadowing them, yet complimenting them PERFECTLY. This is a future classic metal song.
Too many times, bands today write music, take what seems an eternity in doing so, and once they release said music, the listener is left to say, “This took you guys that long to put together?”, and put the CD into the glove box of their car, never to be played again. Nytrate has done the opposite. The time they took in creating their debut release, shows their passion for putting out music that is going to outlive the ink used to make the album cover. Nytrate took time out to polish the sound of the record and still in doing this, not lose the energies that come from the creative process.
Nytrate has done an excellent job in not becoming just another bar band with
a record. They did this album right, doing themselves justice, showing the
heart they put into their music in the final product. Metal music has long
missed this from new bands, or even veteran bands for the most part. Just check
out releases by Judas Priest, Slayer, and Anthrax over the past ten years to HEAR my point. Nytrate did something
that I have only seen in one other band in the past ten years, and that band
decided to call themselves, “Heaven and
Hell”, for their final collaborative before we lost the late great Dio.
N debut album has the kind of power, the displays of talent, that Black Sabbath put forth on their first outing with Dio at the helm. The classic, “Heaven and Hell”. Nytrate’s debut release is a showcase of the bands ability to shine as individuals and a unit as well. The band has a similar chemistry working for them that the Dio fronted era of Sabbath did. From beginning to end, Nytrate’s debut album will keep you, the Metalhead, enthralled.
Nytrate’s debut album is available for purchase at their website, and as of this writing, available for digital download through the website, and the usual avenues of technological musical sales.