Album Review: Nails - 'Unsilent Death'

9 May 2010 | 3:10 am | Staff Writer

This is bound to fracture something.

Prowl the internet in search of information on Six Feet Under Records' latest violent sensation - Nails, and you’ll be quick to realise the lack of publicity held to this band’s name. Yes, they do have a known weapon - Todd Jones (Terror, Carry On, Betrayed, Snakes Eyes, Internal Affairs), but other than this I believe it’s safe to assume that this band is otherwise comprised of none other than black-hooded executioners from the 15th century. Either that, or the outfit is a dynamic duo comprising of Mr. Jones, and that malevolent rubbish container in Star Wars Episode IV that attempts to squash the Skywalker gang (it probably just plays the drums or something), purely because ‘Unsilent Death’ is at the least - crushing. In light of forefathers - Trap Them and Napalm Death, Nails delivers 10 tracks of heavy, fast chaos delivering a 12” bound to meet any expectations surrounding a Kurt Ballou-produced record.

What separates this band from many others is first and foremost - the sole production of this record. The guitars are ridiculously heavy with a massive tone - each chug as if Zeus’s hands are clasped around your head and forcing you to furiously headbang. And so they should be, as these 10 tracks are undoubtedly a sincere testimony to ‘heavy and fast’ music. The bass - in it’s rampage of down-tuned riffage - sounds gigantic, complementing the pummeling impact of the drums. There are also vocals on this record. They will make you die. These four elements - amidst the entropy of howling feedback - combine to comprise the 15 minutes of destruction that Nails have given birth to, best represented by its final track - ‘Depths’. The masterpiece that is this record’s production is definitely the defining factor of this piece, giving Nails a cutting-edge over many other bands working within this genre.

Let’s just talk about the riff just past midway of ‘Suffering Soul’ for a quick moment. It’s as if the instruments had suddenly been blessed with mouths, yelling “DIE” at unsuspecting listeners. This same effect is mirrored around the same point in ‘I Will Not Follow’. Simply, crushing. Whilst a quarter of an hour in playtime, this record holds several key moments throughout which truly define the style this band achieves. What we see here is a perfect balance in metre - a band that understands the effect in contrasting between tempos; flourishing between the extremes - dramatically fast riffs to punishingly slow breakdowns, all over the record. However, to raise the bar just that much higher, it could help with some disparity in riffs - many sound very similar though nonetheless, powerful. The result is a consistently earshattering record, though it may feel like your ears are being shattered by the same song over and over again. Nails truly dig their heels deep into the savage territory that is powerviolence, embellishing this with their own spice that reminisces heavier styles to create something of their own.

There’s a fine difference between music and death. Some artists try to describe it - conjuring all sorts of horrid imagery to depict extermination as lyrically gruesome as possible. Others try to visually represent it through face paint and battleaxes, hairspray and tight jeans or even through cartoon black and white drawings. In their latest 12” release, Nails undoubtedly creates 'Unsilent Death' - boasting 10 tracks of mindless carnage to produce a record that is certain to take fans of this style by complete surprise.

1. Conform

2. Scum Will Rise

3. Your God

4. Suffering Soul

5. Unsilent Death

6. Traitor

7. I Will Not Follow

8. No Servant

9. Scapegoat

10. Depths

More From Our Network