‘Nemesis’ is the eighth studio album from Welsh Progressive Rock band 25 Yard Screamer. Released three years after their ‘Natural Satellite’ album, and twenty years after their inception, this new release takes key elements of the band’s past and combines them with a fresh modernity to produce a new musical voice to take them into their future.
25 Yard Screamer was formed in 2002 following Matt Clarke (bass) and Donal Owen (drums) assisting Nick James with a showcase gig for a music management company. The experience through rehearsals for that show, gave an indication to all three that there was a future in their collaboration. 2003 saw their first album ‘The Pictures Within’, 2011 brought the fourth album ‘Until All Are One’, a band favourite. This marked the bands first association with WhiteKnight Records, the label owned and run by Will Mackie and Rob Reed.
With their backing the international market opened up and the band started distributing and selling in the UK and around the world. Since then the band have released three more albums through WhiteKnight, 2013’s concept album ‘Something That Serves To Warn Or Remind’, 2016’s partial retrospective ‘Keep Sending Signals’, and 2019’s ‘Natural Satellite’.
‘Nemesis’ is my first experience of the band and it has made quite a big impression on me. Intelligent, insightful and thoughtful progressive rock with, at times, a distinctly harder edge. The band quote a variety of influences combining on this album, from Steven Wilson to King Crimson and The Mars Volta but also things such as the Conceptual and Performance Art of Marina Abramovic, the attitudes and relationships of people towards life and technology and how, as a society, we are choosing to exist today.
25 Yard Screamer deliver nine tracks of brooding, sparse music imbued with a dark melodic feel. I’m a particular fan of Incident, The Vibrations Of Speech and the haunting power of Giving Away My Last Secret with it’s harsh but brilliant guitar solo but the whole album is a mature and assured journey into a band who are confident of where they stand in the world and where they are heading. Dynamic, often crushing, riffs combine with thunderous drums, soaring keyboards and charismatic vocals to deliver a sound that, while familiar, has nuances all of its own. The final track on the album, Fragility Of Angels is exquisite, thoughtful vocals combine with sublime and wistful music to give us a hypnotic and mesmerising masterpiece resplendent with one of the best solos you will hear this year.
‘Nemesis’ may be my first step into the world of 25 Yard Screamer but it will definitely not be my last. This latest album from the Welshmen is a rather sublime slice of modern progressive rock complimented by hard rock sensibilities and deserves all the success it can garner.
Released October 7th, 2022.
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