Never Obey Again – The End of An Era (Scarlet Records)

Monday, 18th September 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Modern metal has taken on influences from a broad range of styles – bringing acts like Spiritbox and In This Moment to healthy headlining status as the next generation to keep the movement alive. Newcomers Never Obey Again wish to throw their hat in the ring as another catchy powerhouse through this debut album The End of An Era. An Italian five-piece of experienced musicians, the songwriting and performances contain lots of bouncy riffs, layers of electronic enhancement, plus main tempos and vocal melodies that are very easy to retain because of the purity in earworms that develop through every track.

The landscape of keyboard/electronic drum samples that surround the natural guitars, bass, and drum instrumentation allows the swirl of alternative, modern metal, and hard rock aspects to converge into the maelstrom of hypnotic emotions. Listeners will be hard pressed to not be swinging head to toe, fists flying high to the magnificence of “Take Care of You” or the stomping quiet to heavy diversity for “Wake Up”. When guitarists Alex Pedrotti and Alessandro Tuvo execute a mix of clean parts into normal electric heavy distortion, the respectful manner they play off each other creates edge of the seat dynamics – “Underdog” the prime example, propping up vocalist Carolina Bertelegni into her mysterious lower register beyond her natural mid-range to higher prime time note hitting capacities. At times the band intertwines different genres to benefit the overall pacing of the record – imagine a mix of early Lacuna Coil next to late 90’s Papa Roach to make “The Storm” an early standout, Carolina switching from a forceful semi-talk to distant narrative stance which makes her normal powerful singing that much more impactful. The record ends with Never Obey Again taking on “Zombie” from The Cranberries – putting it into a bit more of an electronic-enhanced twist without sacrificing the militant lyrics or heavy guitar work that made this a staple of the alternative rock scene in the mid-1990’s.

Quite a potent debut album for Never Obey Again here – those who love modern metal with plenty of hooks, melodies, and momentum should be quite pleased with The End of An Era.

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