Nerve End - The Cycle

Nerve End started as a two-man project in 2007 when Lauri and Joonas – around 17 years old at the time – realized that the songs they’d already written fit together perfectly. A few years later, they started working on a demo that would define the sound of the band and help find other musicians that share the love for that specific sound. After a couple of early EPs, some interim singles, and surviving a pandemic, they finally released their debut full-length LP this year. Behold, Finnish Progressive Metal!

Band Members:

  • Joonas Kaselius – Vocals/Guitars
  • Lauri Mäntynen – Guitars
  • Olli Paajanen – Bass
  • Janne Mieskonen – Drums

April 20, 2023


  1. The Cycle
  2. Stormchaser
  3. The Great Escape
  4. From Mother To Son
  5. Stalemate
  6. Deep Blue
  7. The Big Sleep
  8. Absolution
  9. Children Of The Sun
  10. Ashes To Ashes

The album opens with ambient tones leading to an aggressive Prog Metal song. The instrument drop that ushers in the vocals are well-executed, allowing for the joining of the voice to the music to happen. “The Cycle” appears to be about patterns that we get into in life. Some are good, and some are not; both cycles can be broken. The shifts in this song are pretty extreme, jumping to different tones, time signatures, and tempos at will.

“Stormchaser” starts with a magnificent guitar piece. I could have easily listened to an entire song with that playful guitar work. More drops from the instruments here allow you to focus on the voice. The clarity and gentleness of the tones are quite pleasing, especially when contrasted with the gruffer tones when the instruments come back in.

For some reason, the track “Stalemate” reminds me of the opening of an Ozzy song from the early 80s, “S.A.T.O.” The way they use this instrumental break to launch the second half of the album feels like a natural break point. Heading into “Deep Blue,” a song about the computer playing against chess master Gary Kasparov. This was a precursor to AI, which seems to be causing a lot of controversy right now with what it is capable of. Having Joonas shift to harsh vocals gives this a darker, fatalistic feeling.

Going heavier with the guitars, “Absolution” takes a darker turn musically. The opening riff is one of the heaviest on the record and shows a different side of Nerve End. Granted, the tone lightens up later in the song, but the tuning on that riff is a definite high point on the record. Their ability to go from melodic to harsh and tempered to untamed speaks volumes for their creative depth. So many different styles are represented on this album that there is bound to be something for everybody.

Closing out the album is “Ashes To Ashes,” the longest song on the album. At almost seven minutes, it has room to roam and wander through a vast soundscape of styles. The lower-end vocals provide a darker tonality, quickly balanced by the lighter croons in the next section. The emotion shifts with the timbre of the voice and the surrounding instrumentation. You get more of the signature instrument drops here as well.

Nerve End has a formula they like, which they use well. It gives the album a good coherence that plays through all the songs, tying everything together into a neat package of highly enjoyable tunes.

MZ Ratings:

  • Musicianship
    • Guitars – 9
    • Rhythms – 9
    • Vocals – 9
  • Songwriting – 9
  • Production – 9
  • Overall – 9.00