Nicta – Rage And Fury Fed Us

I really wish that more power metal bands would employ the style that Nicta uses on their ‘Rage And Fury Fed Us’ EP. Nicta realizes that power metal can be melodic and emotional without being absurdly cheesy and effeminate. The four (lengthy) tracks on this EP are an extremely promising release from these Italians, and I’m very interested in seeing what they will offer in the future. Nicta has managed on this EP to combine the various branches of power metal into a single musical force which uses its natural variance to its strength, not its deficiency, like many other bands. The material here is not only emotional and catchy, but heavy and intense as well: the latter factors being elements woefully missing from the majority of power metal these days.

Keyboards and guitars are roughly on equal footing here, though the latter is clearly the simpler instrument, relegated primarily to rhythm (with the bass deepening the melodies) while the keys form the overarching melodic sense for the music. The vocals here are an extremely strong part of the overall compositions, alternating between melodic but powerful cleans and some black metal influenced unclean, adding both variance and a bit more abrasiveness and inaccessibility to the music as a whole. A good musical comparison here would be to a much heavier, rougher form of the music one would hear on Sonata Arctica’s ‘Winterheart’s Guild’, with a similarly wintry atmosphere (opener ‘Civil War’ actually sounds like Christmas music at moments) and sonic delivery. The instrumentation is very tight, as to be expected, and the songwriting is top notch throughout. Despite the high importance of the keyboards in the overall soundstream, they’re never cheesy, with sounds chosen tastefully and melodies being epic and not unnecessarily complex.

The subject matter of this music is a great deal less fantastical than your average power metal band, and the music shows it. Very little is overblown on the tracks here, almost in the style of USPM artists such as Jag Panzer, with tracks that are epic, but not in the style of Rhapsody. This is certainly a great deal rougher than most power metal; vocalist Fabio Valentini sounds genuinely aggressive, despite maintaining some level of melody even during his harsh vocals. In fact, the overall intensity of this music is quite high; all the instruments are played not merely technically, but with a certain percussiveness and sense of speed that seems more fitting in death metal than this genre. Each track is solid in its own right, but the immensely catchy keyboard melodies of ‘Civil War’ make it the best in my mind. However, gems in sections exist on the other songs as well, such as the militaristic delivery of ‘Frozen Sleeper’ or the strangely bitter and sardonic vocals of ‘Set The Fury Free’.

Nicta has captured my interest greatly with ‘Rage And Fury Fed Us’ with their brand of aggressive power metal. For those not typically attracted to the genre, I would recommend you give this band a look: by eschewing many of the stereotypes of power metal, they’ve managed to craft something unique and intriguing while still fulfilling the most crucial expectations of the genre. Excellent music all around.

(Originally written for


~ by noktorn on August 8, 2007.

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