It seems that in the Netherlands you can't turn a corner without coming across a good quality female fronted metal band. Maybe a slight exaggeration but there are a lot of them and one is Nemesea, a three piece band based in Groningen.
'Uprise' is their fourth full length release and while they are not yet scaling the heights along with Epica and Within Temptation, Napalm Records obviously think they have a lot to offer and continue to support them.
A trio Nemesea may be, but with a line up of Manda Ophuis on vocals, Hendrik Jan de Jong on guitars, keyboards and vocals and Sonny Onderwater on bass and keyboards you can tell that this is not a power trio. These three together create a peculiarly electronic kind of female fronted metal infused with some pop sensibilities. I thought this worked really well on their last album, 2011s 'The Quiet Resistance' and here the intention seems to be to give us more of the same.
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Opening track 'Hear Me' is guitar orientated to start with, a fine riff pushed along by a pounding beat with a typically anthemic chorus making the most of Manda Ophuis' soaring vocals. Elsewhere though the guitar is left to be an overall part of the sound and not the heart of the band. 'Let It Burn' probably goes a little too far in that direction and leaves the chorus section feeling underpowered.
'Twilight' works better with the moody vibe of the verses morphing nicely into a radio friendly alternative rock style. 'Time To Make It' repeats that formula without as much success though and 'Can't Believe It' is just a bit too lightweight for a band with metal credentials.
That lack of real oomph in the guitar is obviously intentional and maybe the idea is to be a bit more radio friendly than some of their contemporaries but I think it lets down the otherwise excellent 'Light Up The Sky' with its thoughtful build up just not having enough fire in its belly at the end. 'Bones' is better balanced though as is 'Forever', both songs using the guitar to drive the anthemic qualities of the chorus.
In the end 'Uprise' is a bit of a mixed bag. This is a band writing some excellent songs with some real rock qualities but presented here in a kind of Evanescence light mode with the accent on keeping it melodic and not drowning those sweet sounding vocals out with too much guitar. Sometimes it works very well but the metal fan in me just wants it all cranked up a notch or two at times.
Much to enjoy though and the quality of the song writing is very high indeed. Maybe I just need to play it even louder!