“It changed our lives!” laughs James Lewis, the enthusiastic frontman of Tampa’s progressive death metal machine, Nomvdic. The singer is beaming as he speaks about his band’s latest piece of mass-promotion, which came from the most unanticipated of places: a Facebook page called Deathcore Memes, which currently boasts around 300,000 likes and has become a stalwart part of metal online culture in 2018. As it happens, the band’s super-PMA lyrical approach fit perfectly with a meme that was dominating the page at the time.
“One of our best friends from south Florida runs the page,” James continues. “I just threw the idea of us using it at him by saying, ‘Oh, this could be funny, because we have really positive lyrics’, and there was a meme going around in the metal scene of Skeletor saying ‘I don’t like to feel good. I like to feel evil!’”
With the meme-related possibilities apparently infinite, the Facebook page quickly promoted its home state’s experimental quartet by sharing the group’s video for their new, standalone single, Nexus.
“We didn’t see any reactions to the video by anyone other than our friends. And then, all of a sudden, it just blew up!” the singer exclaims of their sudden success.
With the uploaded clip reaching an incredible 100,000 views on Facebook in less than a fortnight, it soon became clear that not only was the unusual approach a rousing success, but that Nomvdic is no joke. Juxtaposing crushing breakdowns and downtuned riffs with such uplifting lines as ‘Let your heart shine’ and ‘I am a pioneer of my own inner fear’, their latest track soon became just as notorious for its wholesome message as it did its musical destructiveness.
“It’s about personal experiences. It’s basically about coming out of horror or fear and moving on into the next step,” James says of the single’s lyrical concept. “Everything we do is very conceptual. The last line of Nexus is, ‘Blistered from the hell I came from, I will live!’ It’s a transition, that’s where it came from.”
“I just describe it as ‘progressive metal’,” guitarist Nicolas Zayas elaborates of the band’s bold sound. “I don’t like to dwell too far into ‘Oh, that’s super-atmospheric or blackened.’ We write progressive metal music.”
Nexus marks a major transition for Nomvdic as musicians, too, as they aspire to distance themselves from the dark despondency that has perpetuated not just metal as a whole, but also their earlier material.
“When we were just friends hanging out, we met weekly and watched horror movies,” explains James. “But when you start getting more traction and play a hundred shows a year, singing about horror movies gets a little annoying. So Nexus was intended to be a transition from horror into our next EP, called Euphoria.”
Nomvdic eagerly label their upcoming disc as “a very emotional, very vulnerable album,” due to follow in the same conceptual yet unyieldingly heavy footsteps of the Nexus track.
And with the unabashedly positive madness of Nexus causing an unexpected online shitstorm in the deathcore scene, we can only imagine how much buzz half a dozen more tunes delivered in the same vein will generate. Crushing death metal as a soundtrack for positivity? Yep, we’re into it.
Nomvdic's Horror EP is out now.