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Neshiima - Beware Of Gifts album art

Beware of Gifts

28th August 2015 – Self-released

01. Beware Of Gifts From A Dragon Princess
02. Those Who Suffer
03. Above The Storm
04. Taken By The Tide
05. The Cycle
06. Become The Ocean
07. So Easy
08. Play Your Part

Whoever it was that coined the term ‘nu-metal’ didn’t think it through. From the genre’s peak around the millennium, it was firmly pushed to the sidelines by the rise of metalcore, but with the pendulum swinging back in favour of the sounds of nu-metal, we are left with a bit of a dilemma about what to call it. New nu-metal? Nunu metal? Neo-metal? Who knows. Someone will figure it out.

Whatever this resurgent movement gets called though, we can be sure that Glasgow’s Neshiima will be a part of it, with second EP Beware Of Gifts representing a significant step forwards from their debut Distance.

With that being said, we should be clear that Neshiima are more than just a nostalgia trip back to the late nineties, as they have given the basic formula a thoroughly modern twist, especially in the tones and tunings departments. The net result sits somewhere in the middle ground between Linkin Park and Monuments. With the right ears, echoes of other melodic rap-rock outfits like Shootyz Groove, early P.O.D., or even Sevendust can also be heard.

Beware of Gifts brings in a number of elements, and is strikingly well balanced between them. Vocalist Liam divides his time between rapping, singing and screaming, and is clearly comfortable and competent in all three disciplines. The eight tracks of the EP include straight-ahead riffy stompers and quieter, more reflective numbers – and “Those Who Suffer” contains elements of both. With plenty of vocal hooks, and a distinctive, staccato riffing style, Neshiima are clearly finding their sound. The band has also resisted the all-too-common urge to smother the songs in layer upon layer of backing tracks. Whilst they are present, they are tastefully done and the songs remain staunchly guitar-led. The results are clean, clear and unfussy.

Beware Of Gifts also is given an extra dimension, as Liam has given the tracks that comprise it a vocal theme. Somewhat out of left field, it is based on the Japanese legend of Urashima Taro. A brief peruse of Wikipedia makes the slightly bizarre title of the opening track “Beware Of Gifts From A Dragon Princess” make a lot more sense. The concept of the EP will be further explored in an accompanying comic book, which is a neat touch and a further incentive to pick up a physical copy.

There is a slight sensation pervading Beware of Gifts that Neshiima are pulling their punches a little. The band clearly have the capacity to write some real shitkickers, but haven’t quite managed that here. There’s still plenty of burly riffs and flashes of inspiration, but one is still left with the impression that their very best songs are still yet to be written.

Nevertheless, this is not a bad place for Neshiima to be at this stage in their career. In Beware of Gifts they have produced a solid and distinctive collection of songs that will provide a great foundation from which to grow. They have deftly side-stepped the cliches and cheesy, wannabe gangsta pitfalls that can plague bands of this genre, and the results are well-rounded and credible throughout. With the band soon to spread their wings on their first tour, a listen to Beware of Gifts is a chance to potentially get in on the ground floor of a very promising career indeed.