ALBUM: Nails – “Abandon All Life”
LABEL: Southern Lord Records
RATING: 7.0 / 10
If you browse through several of the “Best of 2013” metal lists around the net, there is a name that keeps popping up again and again…Nails.
Having never heard of the band i decided to give their latest, and third release, “Abandon all Life” a try. For those unfamiliar to Nails, their music can be described as a compact, brief and thick barrage of hardcore/punk influenced grindcore.
My first impression of the album was a bit underwhelming, like when you finally get to see that overly hyped movie and your expectations are so ridiculously high that anything else than stellar feels wrong (Prometheus, I’m looking at you…). At a first listen, “Abandon all Life” sounds like a tight, ferocious and very honest grindcore album, but i was unable to find that unique quality or that originality that made it a “Best of 2013” record.
Luckily for me, there is something about this release that gives it a huge replay value, and that is its brevity. Clocking at about 17 minutes long, it just has an addictive quality that compels me to press that play button again and again. In the last week it hasn’t been unusual for me to listen to the record at least 2 times in a go.
It is after those consecutive listens that I start realizing how surprisingly varied and rich “Abandon all Life” is. Because Nails is not just a Grindcore band, no sir. Nails is d-beat and hardcore beatdowns, Entombed‘s buzzsaw grooves and Rotten Sound‘s relentless immediacy. Nails is also doom…yeah, slow, soul crushing doom that weights on your chest like a ton of bricks. What about that?
That…is pretty damned impressive for 17 minutes of music, specially considering how coherent everything sounds. A true statement about songwriting skills and production expertise that gives the whole album a very consistent and authentic quality.
To keep this review short, just like the album, “Abandon all Life” is by no means easy listening, but it can be a very rewarding and addictive experience if you invest a bit of time on it.
Nails brings variation to a very saturated genre without being particularly original, they do it by being honest, passionate and angry, very fucking angry.
Review by: WN