"It’s certain to satisfy fans and pack a punch live, but it’s not a huge leap forward." Lofty spiritualist themes and arena-bait anthems aside, Nothing More are re-treading old ground on Carnal

Even with guest stars including David Draiman and Eric V of I Prevail, Nothing More's seventh album falls short of its potential

Nothing More band promo 2024
(Image: © Dante Dellamore)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

For their seventh instalment, Texan quartet No-thing More continue to probe the human psyche with the help of late English philosopher Alan Watts, tackling themes of fear, personal strength and perseverance. It’s a record that serves up Eastern spiritualism-inspired wisdom at an arena-filling scale – even if the philosophical musings do tread the same ground as previous releases. 

Much like their last few records, Carnal is a conversation with their muse. Watts serves as primary ‘vocalist’ on five scattered tracks, while the surrounding record channels these ideas, responding in sonic form. Down The River’s lofty, anthemic cries of ‘Come what may!’ embrace notions of living in harmony with the world rather than fighting against it, and Freefall blazes with euphoric vulnerability in the face of adversity. 

Lofty notions of ‘Zen’ and ‘unconscious virtue’ may fly over people’s heads, but, where words fail, music speaks. House On Sand is a heavy, larger-than-life howl of renewed vigour after hardship, while Existential Dread’s frantic verses bristle with anxiety, before a triumphant, weightless chorus waves it off. 

However, Nothing More have certainly dialled back their experimentation. There’s none of the playful prog metal captured on their self-titled record, no shocking acoustic number as on 2017’s The Stories We Tell Ourselves. With the exception of Stuck’s injection of rap-screams and Sound’s tech-y distortion, Carnal focuses on the tried-and-true alt metal arena-bait. 

Nothing More certainly serve up some effective anthems throughout the album. Simultaneously grandiose and simplistic, Angel Song ropes in David Draiman on guest vocals over a stomping groove and a we’re-all-in-this-together chorus. And yet Carnal often repackages sounds and themes from previous records. It’s certain to satisfy fans and pack a punch live, but it’s not a huge leap forward for the gang.

Carnal is out June 28 via Better Noise. 

NOTHING MORE - HOUSE ON SAND (Feat. Eric V of I Prevail) Official Music Video - YouTube NOTHING MORE - HOUSE ON SAND (Feat. Eric V of I Prevail) Official Music Video - YouTube
Watch On
Emily Swingle

Full-time freelancer, part-time music festival gremlin, Emily first cut her journalistic teeth when she co-founded Bittersweet Press in 2019. After asserting herself as a home-grown, emo-loving, nu-metal apologist, Clash Magazine would eventually invite Emily to join their Editorial team in 2022. In the following year, she would pen her first piece for Metal Hammer - unfortunately for the team, Emily has since become a regular fixture. When she’s not blasting metal for Hammer, she also scribbles for Rock Sound, Why Now and Guitar and more.