When it comes to passion, NMA don’t do things by halves – what you get are hearts on sleeves, bloody knuckles, politics, poetry and polemics. So it is with Winter, the first full-length follow-up to 2013’s Between Dog And Wolf, which finds Justin Sullivan in fine storytelling mode, his characters battling for survival in undetermined landscapes (Winter) or struggling against the odds in a refugee hell straight off the ten o’clock news (Die Trying).
Alongside the winter of discontent themes, things sound deliberately aggressive and ragged – Devil throbs with infernal menace, Burn The Castle’s undisciplined chorus teeters on the edge of implosion and Born Feral is driven mercilessly forward on the back of a pulsing tribal rhythm.
Clearly inspired by the recent critical upswing, but beholden to no one, this is the creation of a band with an utterly focused sense of identity. The result is gloriously uneasy listening for the masses.