Label: Tepaphone Records
Date: May 1st, 2019.
This one will bring me some points on credibility. Especially because I’m in a conflict of interests. Since the voice of this weirdly titled record belongs to a friend of mine, let me state at the very beginning that the vocals are the one thing I actually don’t like.
Speaking of the weird looking title, it seems to translate to “nothing sacred”, from a form of Semitic language, used mostly in Ethiopia. Strange choice for a band coming from Serbia…
Anyway, Nothing Sacred is a fairly young quartet, though formed by very experienced musicians. Their self-titled (ignoring the language) album is the first of their career. Prior to it, they had only a digitally released demo.
Putting the band into a definite drawer would be an easy task. You can label them a hardcore / punk band. However, this simple definition could only serve to place them among the similar acts on some shelf. Digging deeper into the sound of their debut full length, one can find a whole lot more.
Nothing Sacred does bear a punk background upon its shoulders. They are certainly more lenient towards punk than hardcore, even if hardcore plays a significant part throughout. Yet, it is in the guitar work that the secret to Nothing Sacred’s appeal is found. There’s a multitude of expected, simple punk riffs about. Still, those are skillfully mixed with a lot of versatile influences, ranging from post punk to stoner rock. Exquisite leads give a much needed flavor to the record. The album is brimming with catchy guitar parts which should make Nothing Sacred stand out in the ears of connoisseurs.
Bass guitar is the one instrument that carries the most obvious hardcore input. You will spot it easily, whenever it is left with enough of a spotlight. The same can go for the drums. Though often simply pulling the expected weight, there is an apparent attempt to leave the predicted patterns as much as possible.
Getting back to vocals… Seems to me like Mr. Bašić is trying way too hard to add harshness to the tones produced by his vocal chords. That way the vocals sound a bit unnatural to my ears. Not all is lost on that field, fortunately. For instance, “Prophecy Fulfilled” is where he hit the point perfectly. Though the song itself offers a lot of room to play around, with its dark and claustrophobic aura.
Furthermore, the song itself depicts the dictatorship in today’s Serbia, so the atmospheric touch is spot-on.
But, speaking of voices on the album, it needs to be mentioned that the group choruses sound perfect. To the point where you can almost see the crowd hijacking the microphone during live performances. One more good idea Nothing Sacred used to their advantage are the clean female voices. Those are present on just a couple of tracks, but are surprisingly effective as another layer to the vocals.
Concluding what turned out to be a very long review, Nothing Sacred came out of the dark with a strong album. Very good production, interesting cover and booklet design and most important of all, quite compelling music. Creative and as far as possible from any derivative genre limitations. The quartet is (all the quirks included) on the right track. Hopefully, a bright future lays ahead.