The Hard Word: Nails Album review
Nails' new album "You Will Never Be One of Us" is a no holds barred, personal, antagonistic album that really doesn't compromise on any level.
It is not an album for everyone but it is an album that reinvigorates what was so great about the DIY underground death metal scene in the 80's.
But Nails are not a purely death metal band.
They incorporate elements reminiscent of Napalm Death but go further into the pit of despair by adding elements of grindcore, D-beat, punk, and hardcore, and coming under the overall banner of Powerviolence.
Although, I get the sense that singer/guitarist Todd Jones doesn't give a dam what genre they are from, and doesn't care whether you think they fit or not.
This third album for the Californian band, and it is obvious that this album is meant to be so caustic, so antagonistic, and so alienating as to stand as a testament to non-conformity.
The blast beats don't sound like blast beats with a raw high clarity and a very tight sounding snare head, punk, buzz-saw guitar, and raw, unfiltered vocals.
Just when you think you have the feel it switches, smashing you in the face with an insane death riff and switching the drumming into a hardcore two-step feel.
The sheer aggression, hatred and anger in the music is apparent.
Titles like 'Made to Make you Fail', 'Violence is Forever', 'In Pain','Parasite', and 'Savage Intolerence' give you a sense of just how nihilist this misanthropic album is.
The sardonic and disdainful tone runs right through the album, with its short, angst filled songs oozing disgust at everything and everyone.
When I heard Max Cavalera was a fan, I was curious, but now I know why.
The punk high powered riffs and sludgy guitars really remind me of Nailbomb, although this is a lot faster, more serious, and more aggressive.
With producer Kurt Ballou, of Converge, riding point on production you can hear there is an effort to add some complexity in it, but at the same time not compromise on the wall of sound that hits you.
The whole album coming in at 21 minutes 43 seconds means if you blink you'll miss it.
The shortest song 'A Friend To All' is a searing 45 seconds, while 'They Come Crawling Back' is an unusual 8 minutes.
The stand out moment in the album is on track 'Into Quites' at 45 seconds where the brutal death metal vibe gives way to a hardcore breakdown.
For any fan this will be an absolutely jaw dropping, inspiring moment in the set, and I hope they play it live.
For me the stand out track is 'They Come Crawling Back'.
I personally like the slower nature of it, and the sudden doom laden clarity the music gets as you feel like you could be in some dirty, smelly underground metal club which reeks of piss and beer.
Its been done before and I remember a 1980's twenty minute album (for those who know their metal) that did really well.
It will be interesting to see how this one does.
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