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Nine Shrines – ‘Retribution Therapy’ – Review

Released by: Mascot Records

Release Date: Out Now!

Genre: Metalcore

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Album Line-up:

Andrew Wetzel – Drums
Devon Voisine – Bass
Andrew Baylis – Lead guitar
Even McKeever – Rhythm guitar
Chris Parketny – Vocals

Tracklist:

1. Nimrod
2. Retribution Therapy
3. Chain Reaction
4. Ringworm
5. Happy Happy
6. Dead
7. Hymn
8. Conjure
9. Pretty Little Psycho
10. Ghost
11. Sick Like Me
12. Counterfeit

Formed in 2014, Ohio’s Nine Shrines has returned with their follow up to their debut EP Misery which was released in 2017. New album, Retribution Therapy explores a number of dark themes and narratives, with Chris Parketny explaining, “Writing these songs have been just as much therapy as it is an outlet for the kids listening,” adding, “We approach these songs with a real sense of catharsis.  This is a huge outlet for us to vent.  Like onstage, something overtakes you.” Andrew Baylis further added, “Our whole career, everything we’ve been doing for the last five years, has been building to this record.  This is the best thing I’ve done musically in my life — literally everything has built up to this point.  We wanna infect you, and we want you to celebrate the work we’ve done.  I’m over the moon to get this motherfucker out.”

Opening with ‘Nimrod’ you instantly get a feel for what to expect from the rest of the album. Exploding with big, fat riffs and memorable lyrics, it is a strong start to what is a powerfully constructed album. ‘Retribution Therapy’ and ‘Chain Reaction’ provide something of a more traditional heavy metal sound, while ‘Ringworm’ truly rips its way through your speakers from the first crunching note and growling vocal. ‘Happy Happy’ breaks things down a bit, to something more reminiscent of a track that wouldn’t be out of place in Linkin Park’s catalogue.

Taking things up a notch, ‘Dead’ opens up like a rally cry, with its industrial framing, eerie syths, grinding riffs, and electronic ambience, this is one of the stand-out tracks on the album. ‘Hymn’ provides us with an unexpected mellow interlude before the dark and sinister ‘Conjure’ casts it spell over the listener. Radio ready ‘Pretty Little Psycho’ is probably one of the most accessible tracks on the album, and would not be out of place on any rock radio station’s daily rotation. ‘Ghost’ and ‘Sick Like Me’ round out the album, before launching into the closing track ‘Counterfeit’. Seething with pent-up anger and frustration, this track is the most ferocious song on the album, and brings Retribution Therapy to a bombastic close.  

Produced by Dan Korneff, Retribution Therapy has great production values and is a great addition to the music collection of any fan of the metalcore genre. Discussing Dan’s involvement, Andrew Baylis explained that, “Working with Dan was a best-case scenario.  He cares as much or more than any of us.  He’s the “X factor” and he’s behind us 110%. His level of excitement was so inspiring.  He’s so emotionally invested — everything we did, he wanted to make it more intense,” adding, “He is all about not settling for just any sound or process that wasn’t the very best we can possibly do.  Unless the performance was incredible, he was not happy.  Dan creates much of his own one-of-a-kind gear, like limiters and compressors, and soldering circuit-boards, to get that sound.   He’s a huge drum guy, and I think it shows — the mix was incredible.”  

With Retribution Therapy, it is clear that Nine Shrines are carving their own path in the metalcore genre, avoiding comparisons where possible, and presenting a sound that can cross genres. As debut albums go, this is an excellent start, and I look forward to what the band will produce next.


Ratings: 8/10

Written by: Erik De’Viking

My Global Mind – UK Editor

Erik De’Viking is a London based freelance music journalist. His musical interests include music in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.

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