I caught Doused for the first time early this spring at a local charity concert. They’d not been playing live that long and came across like a band with lots of potential and an alt rock sound drenched in grunge and a clear Tool influence, both rhythmically and vocally. Now, eight months later they are launching their second EP, Nebula.
The Rotherham based band state that their influences are One Minute Silence, Skindred, Korn, System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Nirvana, but here on Nebula, all traces of the grunge are gone. Is that a bad thing? Well, it depends on what you like. I much prefer Grunge to Nu-Metal but saying that I really enjoyed picking out the individual influences in each track on what is clearly a very well produced EP that has had a lot of love put into it.
From the off, with opening track Question One, influences are laid bare; lashings of late nineties nu-metal and rhythms that more than hint towards One Minute Silence and Disturbed. A pleasant surprise though, whether intentionally or not, is what could be a nod towards Pitchshifter, both in some of the riffs and the vocal stylings throughout the EP. Boom is easily a highlight here and features dub heavy riffing a la Skindred or maybe even early Incubus. It does though threaten to delve too far into Limp Bizkit terrirtory when singer Lee urges the listener/audience to GET UP! GET UP! I can imagine this going down well in the metal clubs.
Labyrinth is more of the same, though an Ænema-era Tool influnce looms heavy in the vocals, melodies and guitars; and if you going to pick an influence, you can do no worse than pick Tool. Down is the track that reminds me most of the Doused I heard at the beginning of the year and comparing that to the rest of the EP, its plain to see the progression they have made in both songwriting and playing.
Closing track Brunt opens with a riff which owes a little to System of a Down/One Minute Silence and has a thunderous midsection which flies by at breakneck speed but I’d have loved to have heard that at the end of the song too, as it would have been a great way to end both the song and the EP, rather than a sudden fade out.
I admit that nu-metal isn’t my thing and of those nu-metal bands I first heard in the mid-90s, it’s only Deftones that I can say is a truely brilliant band in my eyes, having progressed way beyond the restraints of that genre. However, its clear there is still an appetite for Nu-Metal. BBC Introducing in Sheffield has had Brunt on their playlist, the band has now played The Corporation numerous times and with the popularity of other local bands such as Jackson Caged, it doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon.
In my opinion, Nebula is at its best when Doused push themselves both aggresively and progressively. That Tool influence is still a dominant force and the originallity in the rhythms and guitar sounds allow them to be not just another nu-metal band and shows a clear potential to make a prominant dent in the metal club scene in 2013.
Nebula EP is released December 15th 2012.
In the meantime, visit Doused on their facebook page: facebook.com/DousedRock