NERVED – Off Line

NERVED - Off Line


MMS Records
Release date: November 17, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

For all you Musicos out there who like to have your music all nicely labelled, pigeon-holed, and compartmentalized, Off Line is really going to have all of you in a tizz. The question is: Is it Metal, is it Rock, is it Heavy Rock, is it Prog? The answer to the question is – Eleven! Confused? Good! The correct answer is, of course – Nerved. Still confused? It looks like Nerved have got a hold of the rule book and figured it doesn’t apply to them. Off Line is all of the above; and then some! … and then even some more considering this is their debut album.

Nerved are: Emil Gammeltoft (Vocals), Marcus Hanser (Guitars), Magnus Stenvinkel (Bass), and Bjorn Lundenberg (Drums). Checking the song credits, you see that all band-members have some input in the majority of the songs (less “Expect No Mercy,” a Nazareth cover, and The Cardigans “Paralyzed”). This could be why there is so much sonic diversity in this album, with each band-member embedding his own musical DNA into the mix. Whether or not this will cause problems in the future, who knows? How many bands have you heard splitting and using the worn out old cliche of ‘Musical Differences’ as the reason? Usually ‘Musical Differences’ should read ‘Clash of Egos.’ Nerved appear to have the ability to leave their egos out of the creative equation and merge imaginative input to craft original and innovative music.

Off Line is definitely a guitar-driven album with Marcus Hanser assaulting us with some hard ‘n’ heavy, down ‘n’ dirty, chugging riffs. His soloing is well structured and part of each song, not some ‘look what I can do’ guitar widdling that blisters on just for the sake of having a guitar solo in there somewhere. He even manages to slip in a little Ska/Reggae riff in “Paralyzed;” though technically it’s not one of their own creations, it shows the wide ranging ability of the man. Also featured is ex-Nazareth guitarist, Manny Charlton, playing lead on his own song “Expect No Mercy.”

Magnus Stenvinkel also doesn’t play by the rules. There are many bassists out there who will swear that the secret of being a good bass guitarist is not only knowing what and where to play, but more importantly, to know when you shouldn’t play. In a single-guitar band, something has to fill in the gaps that the lone guitarist can’t by himself. Magnus steps up to the plate and dual roles rhythm and bass guitar with a skill level that would be hard to match. Along with Bjorn Lundenberg’s drumming keeping the beat, Nerved has a mighty fine rhythm section.

Emil Gammeltoft’s vocal sound is perfect for this genre of music, that 100-cigarettes-a-day, gargled with rusty nails and Jack Daniels sound. However, his vocal range is not really extensive, and you can hear him pushing hard to reach the high notes, like in “The Search (Reality).” You also get the feeling that the vocals are holding the tempo back; that everyone else wants to go faster. Unfortunately, this gives each track a feeling of ‘Sameness.’ Perhaps this is the sound the band is looking for, and if it is, they’ve done a good job. Marcus Hanser and Magnus Stenvinkel played a major role in the recording, mixing and producing Off Line, which goes a long way to getting the real sound of the band on to the CD.

In summary, once you get over the fact that Off Line refuses to be labelled, you will be listening to an album that satisfies a whole range of your musical requirements that you will be nodding along to until Nerved releases their next creation. Bring it on!


  • Ross Swinton

    Ross was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. His first recollection of listening to Rock music was at a party in the early '70s, and Thin Lizzy, Electric Light Orchestra, The Who, and Nazareth made him pick up his first Air Guitar and Rock-On! He spent 23 years, from the age of 16, in the Army and wandered around the globe getting paid for travelling to far, sometimes near, exotic, though sometimes dangerous, lands and had a blast whilst doing it. Since leaving the Army in ’98, he has settled near his hometown, just a few miles from Edinburgh, Scotland. Here he helps local bands by recording demos and albums; building them websites; helping put on gigs for them, and generally helping them build up a fan base.

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