"House of Cards," too, deserves some mention for incorporating some contemporary issues. It opens with a few bars of delicacy before launching into the heavy riffs you're expecting. Then Sereyko goes with a genuine balladic delivery that morphs into Cookie Monster to close out each verse. But it's the indictment in the lyrics that makes things really relevant: "Pharmaceuticals lace those southern lips/ It's that sweet nectar, not your child, that brings you bliss."

Ouch.

Personally, from a metal band from north and central Maine, this is the kind of thing I'd like to hear more of. Instead of vague darkness and hell imagery, more images of reality, a reality that surely approaches hell at some times, would have more true impact and match the force of Nobis's musical delivery.

With their fierce ingenuity, that's a task a lyricist has to live up to, though, and the album remains a strong contribution to Maine's metal oeuvre. Maybe it won't be seven years before the next album?

CONFESSION | Released by Nobis | with Five Finger Death Punch + Killswitch Engage + Trivium + Pop Evil + God Forbid + Emmure + Battle Cross | at Oxxfest, Scarborough Downs, Scarborough | Aug 10 |www.myspace.com/nobis

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