Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nails - Unsilent Death


Band: Nails
Album: Unsilent Death
Genre: Grindcore with Crust and Hardcore Influence

Southern California grind trio Nails if following up their 2009 release, "Obscene Humanity."  Attacking the senses with hate, aggression and an attitude that screams "Fuck you all," "Unsilent Death" is a noteworthy release in the genre of grindcore and crust hardcore.  Lets see what makes this album worth your time:

Grindcore is a pretty difficult genre to expand on, granted that the majority of the music is pure chaos.  One of the things I appreciated most about this album is that it didn't try to go above and beyond with the expansion of the genre.  Nails is simply a group of dude who just want to play loud, pissed off music.  That being said, there weren't any failed efforts in transcending the genre they were making music for. The simply did what they new best, and it shows in all fourteen minutes (that's right - fourteen minutes) of the album.  

So, you're probably asking yourself, "what does the album actually sound like?"  Put simply, it sounds like unharnessed mayhem.  The crunchy guitars and low tuned bass give the album a pleasantly dirty grungy sound that any grind fan will instantly appreciate.  Passages of feedback and slow breakdowns give the album a subtle taste of sludge and crust punk.  The drums sprint at times with tasteful grind-blasts, and then slow down for the slower, crusty passages.  The vocals on the album are a clean 50/50 split of unrestrained hardcore yelling, mixed with a harsh taste of metal screams.  Put together, you get a take on grindcore that is original, yet still plays back to the ways of the greats like Terrorizer.  So, while it's been done before with other crusty grind bands, Nails has created their own, take on the genre, and it sounds prime.  

Now let's take on the other end of what the album sounds like - The production.  Granted, these guys are still a somewhat smaller, unheard of band in the genre, but the production on this album is damn near spotless.  It has a raw, almost D.I.Y. feel to it, as well as a polished, coherent sound.  When these two aspects collide, it becomes every grindcore fans wet dream.  The production adds a certain level of heaviness to the overall product, and it does nothing but compliment the work the band has done.  

My one complaint on the album, beside the fact that the album is only fourteen minutes long (which is a pro and a con for the album), is that due to the low tuning of the bass, and the raw aspect of the production, sometimes the instrument gets a little drowned out.  Obviously, it is more audible during the slow riffs on the album, but, during the speedy grind riffs, the bass is left M.I.A. at times.  But, this is only a minor gripe, and it certainly didn't ruin me enjoying the album and the replay value that it possesses.

So, if you're in the mood for some fresh, more underground grind or crust, I would highly suggest checking "Unsilent Death" out.  It's definitely one of the more noteworthy albums I have heard this year, and it will definitely be in my iPod rotation for months to come.  So, what the hell are you waiting for?  Go out and get yourself a copy.  Now.

Score: 8/10

Thursday, December 9, 2010


(Free Download of EP)

It's hard to find genuinely good doom style metal around the Bangor/Brewer area of Maine.  Thanks to Druid, we are provided some heavy tunes that mend the genres of doom, and thrashy hardcore to produce one of the freshest sludge sounds to come out of Maine in God knows how long.

Their first EP can be downloaded in the link underneath the image posted above.  The album spans a little less than ten minutes, but packs a hard punch for the time you are alloted.  The production is very fresh, and the mix allows all the instruments to be heard without any falling into the background.  

With the "Fuck You" mentality of the 80's punk scene, and the heavy style of some of the front-runners of the doom/sludge genre today, Druid is not a band to let pass you by.  Their EP is merely a foreshadowing of things to come, so you better hop aboard before this train leaves your entrails scattered all over the tracks.

If you enjoy their music, become a fan of Druid on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vulvectomy - Post-Abortion Slut Fuck


Band: Vulvectomy
Album: Post-Abortion Slut Fuck
Genre: Brutal Death Metal (Slam)

What can be expected from a band that takes it's name from a medical procedure in which a surgeon removes a woman's vagina?  Pretty much what you expect from every other slam band out there today: Guttural vocals, crunchy guitars, blast beats, audio samples and lots of slams.  For those who are unaware, a "slam" is essentially brutal death metal's version of a breakdown, except that a slam offers a lot more groove, and a lot less shame to the listener.  Bands like Vulvectomy are defined by how good their slams are.  So, what is the band bringing to their 2010 release "Post-Abortion Slut Fuck"?  
Lets be honest.  Brutal death/slam is by no means the thinking-man's metal.  It has a reputation for being rather retarded.  So, lets not delve too deeply into the smarts of this album, and get to what the true fans are wondering about (if you still haven't heard the album by the time this review came out): The slams!  As far as originality goes, Vulvectomy did the best they could to generate some good grooves that kept the audience listening.  Tracks like "Eugenic Sterilization" and "Gangrenous Testicular Deformity" display fresh slams that not only allow the listener to enjoy the music, but distinguish it from other tracks as well.  Though it's not the best slam release that I've heard, it definitely separates itself from the heard of mindless bands that are churning this stuff out.  For a frame of reference as to what shitty slam sounds like, I suggest The Slamburglars.  But I digress.  What else, if anything, makes this album worth your time?

Not that this is one of the things slam fans generally care too much about while listening, but the grind-ish death metal riffs in between slams are only up to par on this album.  While some credit can be given, especially to the drummer, for musical talent during these passages, all of the riffs just kind of meld together, and can really throw you off as to what track your on.  All I'm saying is that this aspect of the album doesn't compliment it as well as it could have.  It's not exactly a bad thing, since they don't suck, but it isn't exactly a good thing since they aren't extraordinary by any means.

One thing that I was glad to hear was the firm tone of the guttural vocals on the album.  True there isn't much variety when it comes to guttural growls (unless you're talking about Heinous Killings), but front-man Diego Fanelli does a great job of delivering a good tone and consistency to his vocal contributions on the album.  It takes the album up a few notches, personally speaking.

As far as the production goes on this album, I was a tad disappointed.  The album sounded a little too polished for my taste.  While the audio clarity gives the listener an opportunity to better distinguish the musical aspect of the album, it also somewhat robs the type of raw, gritty experience you could get while listening to Devourment's "Molesting The Decapitated."  I'm not sure if I consider this a downside to the album, so the issue shall remain neutral.  In the end, it all comes down to preference.

My final gripe about this album is the choice of audio samples.  They just aren't as deprived as they seemed to be on Vulvectomy's first full-length "Putrescent Clitoral Fermentation."  The samples provided on this album just feel too dry, and lacking in either a punch-line or disturbing essence.  It was definitely a let-down.  But, luckily, samples don't make an album, so it isn't that detrimental to the album as a whole.

The final verdict on this album: Go get it.  It's definitely a noteworthy contribution to the genre of brutal death/slam, and can definitely be listened to multiple times.  I'm not sure that it surpasses "Putrescent Clitoral Fermentation," but it is a solid album for any fans of Vulvectomy or slam in general.  So, get in touch with your primal urges to kill, defile and degrade the purity of human life.  Go out and get this album!

Score: 7.5/10