No hastle on postapocalyptic ending debut

-- Nhope --

David Hardy

Album genres:
Groove metal
Album artists:
Logan Dandois Guitars
Rémi Liekens Bass, Vocals, Growl
Robin Tedeschi Drums

Review written by David "Orcish Shredder" Hardy.


Taken the band's name literally, Nhope could mean no hope, however I could put in the context that the band name refers to the future of humanity and the "magnificent" capacity we have to create beauty or destroy something beautiful. It's in this context that Nhope offer us this first single called "Ocean" which inaugurates the career of a brand new group but with protagonists that we have already heard about.

So who are the guys behind Nhope? A trio with Logan Danois on guitar, Rémi Liekens on vocals/screams & bass and Robin Tedeschi on drums. I've personally known Rémi since I had interviewed him with his other band Quodac last Summer (in that band he acts as its leader, guitarist, screamer and singer) and I'm also a big fan of his former band Freak Factor (where he performed bass and screams). Here, we find him on vocals and bass and I have to admit that yes, this guy still surprises me! So, don't ask me where Rémi takes his hours of rest because although Freak Factor's is in indefinite hiatus at the moment Rémi is now part of Quodac, Nhope and on top of all that he also performs as a live band member for the nu-metal act Through The Void (another band I appreciate a lot). In short, sorry Mrs Liekens, I'm not sure he'll be there for dinners if ever you plan to have children soon!

In any case, we're here to talk about Nhope, and their debut single "Ocean" (other singles are scheduled to be released later this year). And even if I don't like too much this trend of releasing multiple singles before putting out an album or EP (which results in the fans having heard all of its tracks before the initial release), I've got to admit that the current fast media consumption culture makes it that we're obliged to have new stuff shoved down our throats every month. But, I forgive them, it's for their own good and... this is Nhope's first piece of released material so here goes nothing.

So what to think about this "Ocean" single?

The introduction makes me fucking happy! Thanks Rémi for putting the bass in the center of such an atmospheric intro! The intro itself clearly functions and feels like the small caress on the head before the stunning blow that comes right after! Violent  in terms of blasts but also when it comes to the different types of growls (a Rémi specialty). In this song I feel much more the presence of the drums than the rest of the instruments. That's not a bad thing because for me, having full guitar bores me a little and solid drum work helps balance things out considerably.

After this very math rock/metal intro the song itself pushes us forward by means of a drum kit that hits hard but with enough intelligence not to tire us out. Some moments however feature impresse double pedal speed! Fortunately for me there is no excess, it's all well balanced and I even have the "tatatata Tatatata Tatatata" drum beat at the 3:12 mark. Yes, I know, we've already heard stuff like that before but I still like it! But to real, Robin shows himself to be a very balanced drummer.

Logan, as for him, agrees to pass behind what is, just magnificent guitar riffs that give the whole thing a genuine soul! He isn't inaudible, but he leaves the centerstage for Rémi and Robin, which is proof of the teamwork behind Nhope and how he keeps his own ego in check (something I often criticize guitarists for not doing enough). I'd even say Logan's even a little bit too much put to the side of the mixing spectrum. A little more space for him would've been better. Overall, this "Ocean" song is clearly tailored to Rémi's strenghts as a bassist and vocalist and he's doing it all really well, thanks to his natural talents and of those he surrounds himself with.

The end of the track (after the 4:15 mark) brings forward Nhope's more melodic side and also allows a return of Rémi's full voice and compared to his older work I'd say, Bravo Rémi, you've really made great progress and your ability to switch from singing to various different types of growling is really impressive! I think that the next step is really to be able to do an almost complete song in clear vocals with a few growls here and there while at the same time giving yourself the challenge to believe in your abilities as a singer! I know you can do it!

What else can I say? Nhope's "Ocean" single is a track that has this particularity to tell you that they can create their own proper sound. Indeed we feel the influence of Gojira (which Remi personally confirmed to me) but this material is more oriented towards the violence of Meshuggah without taking the predominance of guitars that we feel in these two iconic bands. I could see them going towards a style more line with Decapitated but more groovy/math spice, even if the solos on this title are non-existent!? in short, Nhope's style is something both different and at the crossroads of many styles including groove metal, but to say that this stuff's merely groove metal seems very reductive to me. However, in the absense of any other more accurate subgenres I would qualify the band as groove metal.

Fans of Gojira, Lamb of God, Machine Head, go ahead and check out Nhope's material. It's good, it's Belgian and while I describe it as groove metal, there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye. This is a single you can eat and enjoy without feeling particularly hungry, and moreover it's soon reimbursed by the health care system (we can always hope)! I'm impatiently waiting for the next part since I believe a set of 5 tracks would be good enough to get a more concrete idea of where Nhope's going for. And when the next single(s) come(s), I'm sure I'll be happily slamming my shoulders with those of my moshing comrades in the pit!


Powerful, violent and well balanced, I recommend you this first single of Nhope with every meal with a small beer at home... waiting for the end. 

8/10 (awaiting for more)