NATIONAL SECURITY BAND ‘Biomimicry’ (CD & DL, NSB Records,June 2020)
You should immediately dispense with any nefarious notions that the moniker NATIONAL SECURITY BAND suggests. With righteous indignation and armed with sonic fury the 7 track album ‘BIOMIMICRY’ is a succinct statement on the perilous state of the planet that grabs the listener by the lapels and doesn’t let up for 38 brutal minutes. National Security Band are a two piece who hail from Dallas, Texas. Featuring cousins Andy Balog and Greg Balog their sound is stripped bare to reveal all the nuts and bolts. Taking a love of Daniel Edwin Carey’s drumming and Tony Iommi’s riffing, they’ve put the two together and created a musical version of Frankenstein’s monster. Opening with the monolithic ‘Tower Of Eden’ the band have built a brutalist sonic structure of biblical proportions that leaves the listener dwarfed in its wake. Stumbling like a wounded giant ‘Tower Of Eden’ is a riff heavy affair that offers little in the way of respite. The vocals are encased within walls of guitar which creates a feeling of entrapment...with no routes of escape.
I’m always amazed how these two piece bands are able to create such a huge sound and a doff of the hat must go to producer Rob Tavaglione at Catalyst Recording Studios who’s created a wall of sound but has also given the instruments room to breathe. Case in point being ‘Down’, it’s a crushing piece that attaches like an anchor to a drowning man yet it’s also an ululating track with rays of light piercing the waves. ‘Wired’ comes next and evidences a lot of variety with a bluesy feel that drags the song along a sorrowful path. The horror film soundtrack that is ‘Highway One’ has drive and forward motion with drums brought to the fore which propel the song forwards.
I’m picking up a Sabbath vibe on ‘Back Way’, think ‘Planet Caravan’ or ‘Solitude’ only heavier, it’s a tune that’ll definitely appease fans of doom and space rock. The haunting ‘War Criminals’ is awash with distorted solos as we arrive at album closer ‘The Scourge’. Exiting as they entered it’s a song encased in walls of glorious feedback that’s hammered home by pounding drums, each beat a nail in a coffin that drains the last vestiges of futile hope from a weary listener.
National Security Band’s sophomore album follows their 2017 debut (‘Total Information Awareness’) and it shows a clear development and shows a band finding their true calling in the metal world.