Sacra Via, Ecliptica>>ASSAILANT - SWEDEN

Nemesis Within - 2006 - Dockyard 1

Assailant image
S= Dead Street Journal, Lesra>>PEDER SUNDQVIST
G= OSKAR NORBERG - Dead Street Journal, Diaspora>>MARCUS SUNDBOM

Formed in the northern Swedish town of Umeå this particular Assailant should not be confused with its namesake Swedish and European counterparts. A 2005 demo was called Mental State.
The band was formed in 2004 when Oskar Norberg (the youngest brother in the Norberg family of Nocturnal Rites guitarist Nils Norberg and Persuader and Savage Circus guitarist Emil Norberg), Joakim Jonsson, Peder Sandström and Patrik Larsson found themselves the remaining members of a former band called Sacra Via. This band had been active since the mid-‘90s. An early singer was one Markus Granberg who would depart the band in order to move to Spain. It was the Persuader connection that attracted the attention of Dockyard 1 over in Germany. The older Norberg brothers would guest on the band’s debut. Their work can be heard on the song Vanity Unfolds.


The band’s record company and official biography makes a big deal out of these newcomers’ penchant for maintaining heaviness and melody at the same time. The band is purportedly aggressive, melodic and threatening at the same time. Fact is that one cannot argue with the assessment. From heavy riffing on Shattered (not incidentally an older song) to ultra-commercial pop-synth melodies on Tomorrow, which is the following track, Assailant has it all. Where the group charges forward with speed one moment, a wall of prog-ish keyboards wail and scream the next. Names like Dream Theater, Blind Guardian, Savage Circus and a slew of Finnish acts come to mind. Nemesis Within could easily pass itself off as a product of Finland’s music factory. The band is Swedish though and features the third Norberg brother in the music business. The older Norberg bothers of Persuader/Savage Circus and Nocturnal Rites make a brief appearance on this album. Keyboards and synthesizers are not really what a heavy metal fan wants to hear. It is too bad really. The band’s best asset is the voice of singer Peder Sundqvist. He can ratchet up the danger factor when he chooses to scream his lungs out. At times, he reminds one of Exciter’s old singer. Sadly, he falls in line with the rest of the band most of the time and becomes a melodic finicky frontman. The potential was there, but Assailant’s only attack is on the trendy front. - Anna Tergel