Slammer - Nightmare Scenario review


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Band: Slammer
Album: Nightmare Scenario
Release date: April 1991

01. What's Your Pleasure?
02. Greed
03. In The Name Of God
04. Just Another Massacre
05. Architect Of Pain
06. Every Breath
07. I Know Who I Am
08. Corruption
09. Think For Yourself
10. L'Ultima

Sensing the winds of change coming in the early 90s, the UK's Slammer took the motto "evolve or die" to heart and switched up from thrash fanatics to pseudo-groove metal, ultimately achieving both, evolving their sound before breaking up. Nightmare Scenario is the sound of a band in transition, trying to adapt new elements to their old sound and ultimately not managing to effectively achieve this.

Morrow's bass work is a highlight for the album, sitting in behind the guitars at times to give them that extra oomph before shifting to the side of them and doing its own thing. This is only possible by Ennecchini and Zivanovic knowing when to push forward with their twin guitar work and when to sit back next to Gagic's drums that hold the album down. The band had talent in spades and work well as a cohesive unit. Tunnicliffe is probably the weak link in the band; his vocals aren't bad, but they are quite monotonus and are rather limited in scope.

Nightmare Scenario does have its moments of brilliance, however; "Just Another Massacre" comes across as a band pulling their punches until the right moment, when they unleash an uppercut out of nowhere. "In The Name Of God" utilizes the switch in sounds to full effect, using a breakdown as a way to channel their old sound through their new one before swinging back again to great effect. It is something the band can make work, it's just that they hadn't seemed to fully master it before recording the album.

The main problem with Nightmare Scenario is that the band seemed to think evolution meant bolting on slow passages onto songs written in their old style. The tempo changes seem arbitrary and unnatural like the band put on a blindfold and pointed where to put one, rather than advance their sound it takes them several stages backwards as it devolution of their songcraft as highlighted by "Architect Of Pain". "Greed" seems to meander for most of its duration; you get the rough idea of what the band were aiming for, but they were well wide of the target when they fired this one off.

Evolution is often a natural thing that cannot be hurried without incurring a few mistakes along the way; Slammer caught note of the winds of change and tried to pre-empt this, but at a price. It would have been interesting had the band managed a third release to see if they could build on what they did right on this album; they do show they had the right idea and talents to pull it off on [i]Nightmare Scenario[/band], they had just yet to perfect before this album came out.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by omne metallum | 04.05.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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