This is a review of "Red Son Rising" recorded by Nerve Engine. The review was written by Harry Johns in 2006.
Chugga Chugga Chug, cheeky twidly solo, screamy bits, nice bits. It’s a dynamic most of us have got used to since Killswitch Engaged released “Alive Or Just Breathing”, but funnily enough, this Leeds-based 5-piece have some killer songs, some wicked riffs and this whole 5-track CD just works. The cynic in me wants to address just how unoriginal most of the factors that make up Red Son Rising are, but I can’t help but get dragged into a frenzy of air-drumming and headbanging, so I’ve decided to simply leave my music-snobbery at the door.
“One Chance” is your perfect opener, fast and catchy with some nice beatdown bits, nothing too complicated but it's instantly appealing to the ear and has really cool positive-hardcore style vocals towards the end of the track. Next up is this EP's best and catchiest song, “Phoenix”. A punishing nu-metal-style opening riff leads us neatly into an amazing chorus; it’s an instantly appealing heavy-as-you-like commercial metal song, awesome. “Never See Me Fall” is a more groove-orientated affair, sticking to the mosh-tastic feel of the whole record, but leaning towards early-Fear Factory style vocal melodies in the chorus and some nice lead-breaks that hints that Nerve Engine are more than just riffs and hair. Only in “Rise” does the whole formula start to get a bit stale, and we’re left with quite dull and samey filler, but the overtly-poppy “My Own” is a really nice end to the release, with its lighter feel giving the ears a deserved break.
Overall, Nerve Engine have sculpted some polished but emotional songs that will please headbangers that prefer the big-dumb-heavy bouncings of Soulfly rather than the technical noodlings of Unearth, but also enjoy a melodic and sensitive side to their metal, too. Great, simple metal for the pit, that not only emotes, but fucking rocks.