Geelong’s Nemesium have haunted the traps for a few years now, and the imminent release of their debut full-length Continua via Black Lion Records will cement them into Australia’s extreme metal landscape. We managed to catch up with guitarist Chris McEwin for a chat about the upcoming album, among other things.
Congratulations on the debut album. It has been a long time coming. What caused the five year gap between the EP and the full length?
Thanks, yeah and hopefully worth the time it has taken. Just life really I guess more than anything! We’re a busy group of guys with families and other things always going on, so we sometimes find things a bit more difficult to coordinate than your younger bands out there who don’t have those things to need to work around. As far as musically though, when we recorded the EP we were really just trying to get something recorded and out there as a band, whereas this album we put a lot more thought and work into. So we did want to make sure we got things right before we moved on to the next phases of each part of the process.
Nemesium are 2/5 of former band Dawn of Retribution. Why the change, and what makes Nemesium different to Dawn of Retribution?
Yeah Clint and I were in Dawn of Retribution. We always had musical tastes that fell outside of the genre we were playing in that band, and when Dawn disbanded we immediately thought it was a good opportunity to start something more in that style. More of the European style, and the older pioneers of extreme metal. We wanted to play that stuff more than the modern American metal that we were covering previously. And the good thing about Nemesium is that we’ve been able to do that and also take it into completely uncharted territories we didn’t really know that we would end up going in as well. So we don’t really have any limitations on what we write anymore which is fun.
The album crosses from the darker Morbid Angel stylings through to some of the lighter melodies of more modern Swedish Death Metal. Where/who are the influences coming from?
We all have really diverse tastes in music, which all cross over in a big way as well. So we tend to not have issues with what someone contributes to a song. Generally someone will come up with a base idea for the song at its core, and then bring it into the rehearsal room where everyone adds ideas and concepts and that’s where it starts to really take form. We find ourselves probably covering a few of the same bands influence-wise more than others, bands like Death, Dissection, Morbid Angel, Hypocrisy… but then someone might come up with an idea that is from some 70s progressive band, or an 80s rock band or something. If it serves the song though, we’re happy to include anything for an idea.
You recently replaced your old bass player Dave with Marcus Ritli? This bloke has some chops! What has he brought to the band since his inception? Is he like a hired gun finding his way, or is he active with ideas for Nemesium?
So far Marcus has really just been given the task of learning, writing and recording the album tracks. Since getting his bass finalised in early 2020 we really have only been given the opportunity to just spend a few rehearsals together to help him get things automatic and play a few shows. He recorded a lot of the ideas while he was coming up with them in the room, so obviously remembering and relearning those takes a bit of effort, then the Covid-19 restrictions came in and we’ve only just been able to get back to rehearsals the last few weeks, so the next steps from here will be getting the live show prepped again and then starting on some new music, which Marcus will very much be involved in and we’re looking super forward to seeing how differently we work having him involved in the process.
You have played a few gigs over the last few years. Any highlight shows in particular?
The international support shows are always memorable. Playing with Sinister, Krisiun and Omnium Gatherum were all great experiences for us. There was a show we did a little while back on a Sunday afternoon in Melbourne at the Brunswick Hotel as well that was probably one of my favourite shows I’ve ever been part of. Just a great day with lots of good bands and friends, sun shining and get a few beers happening. I love those kinds of shows where everyone is just really enjoying themselves. We’ll be looking this year once we can play again to get out to the rest of the country and play to some new crowds, so I’m looking super forward to that coming around.
If you were to choose one song from the album to play to the uninitiated metalhead, what would it be?
Geez…. maybe a song like ‘The Fire And The Flesh’ could be a candidate for that? It’s a bit of a simpler structured song but still has all the twists and turns we like to write in our music, all weaving around a very solid base structure. It’s heavy, the vocals are awesome in it, and the guitar solo is probably my favourite one on the album. I think for someone who had never really listened to our music before that would be a pretty solid start before we start to confuse them too much with some of the other weird stuff we write in our songs hahaha.
What is next for Nemesium?
Next up for us is just spending the time we wait for all these restrictions to be lifted constructively. Get in the rehearsal room regularly, tighten up again, write some new music and maybe even get a couple of covers down to play live once we can get out and hit it hard again!! We really just wanna get out and tour this album so we’re just gagging to get things back to normal again so we can do that. Aside from that we will continue to promote the album and get some new merch out there for people to get hold of too I guess. New album won’t take 5 years again though I can tell you that, so keep an eye on what we’re doing because we plan to hit it hard again once we’re able to!
Continua is set for release June 12 via Black Lion Records.