Album Reviews

Nms – Imperial Letters of Protection

(Big Dada) UK release date: 24 October 2005

This new album by Nephlim Modulation Sessions (NMS) is the antithesis of easy listening – I invite you to sit on the edge of your seats and prepare to be assaulted by this audio carnage.

The lyrics are spat and shouted out while rage rises up in volcanic proportions, until the din becomes almost unbearable. Rappers Bigg Jus and Orko Elohiem are the masters at work behind Imperial Letters Of Protection, which has been described by kinder critics as a mix of futuristic, abstract hip-hop.

Their first album, Woe To Thee O Land Whose King Is A Child was a reaction to the barrage of war reporting, and the over exposure of George W Bush since the Twin Towers collapsed. And this album picks up those reins, follows the same vein and sees these politically motivated hip hoppers responding to the continuing disaster that Dubya’s government has brought down on the USA – and they do it with such uncontrollable fury, that you can almost hear the flecks of spit and gnashing of teeth.

If you can imagine Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 polemic mixed with the musical tenderness of the Attorney’s driving skills in Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas, you come close to gleaning what an overdose of anti-Americana this album is.It’s a slice of American Pie laced with cyanide.

Fury and wild, angry rapping converge all the way through on this 13 track epic that deals with the chaos, confusion and ineptitude engulfing the one remaining superpower. And while the album reads like a campaign manifesto to oust George Bush it is perhaps a myopic product born out of post September 11th society that can’t see beyond the borders of the 50 states, is so steeped in anti-Yankee vitriol and rams it home to such an extent that you want to smash the CD screaming, ‘Enough Already!’

The opening track Chess With The Galaxies hits hard, screeching in out of the silence. It’s an abrasive exposition delving into the concept of liberty and American Imperialism. Evacuate The White House begins with a really freaky sample of children pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America that will send shivers down your spine. This is contrasted with a bleak string section accompaniment and sample slices dealing with extermination and the ever looming spectre of September 11.

Strike Back is a barking call-to-action to the average American, while Get Him Signed is an all too biting take on the military situation in the US, all the more poignant in light of the death toll figures recently announced. Finally, Last Days really strikes a chord with fuming lyrics about President Bush, global warming, predicting a very pessimistic future for the entire world.

The funny thing is, in an album that strives, not least to re-jig the current world order, and usurp America’s status as a superpower, NMS have propounded a world view that is utterly America-centric. I can’t help feeling that this probably wasn’t the point or purpose of Imperial Letters of Protection.

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Nms – Imperial Letters of Protection