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Nails - Abandon All Life
19 March 2013

01. In Exodus
02. Tyrant
03. Absolute Control
04. God's Cold Hands
05. Wide Open Wound
06. Abandon All Life
07. No Surrender
08. Pariah
09. Cry Wolf
10. Suum Cuique

What Nails play is a nasty, dirty fusion of trimly and concisely played brutality—there's grind, some hardcore and some death metal in this thing, and nearly all of it fucking slays. It all fits and works well. As far as I can tell, there's not an ounce of anything that could be deemed fatty or unnecessary here. That's not to say that a little extravagance isn't something to be applauded, but that's not at all what Nails are about; everything they play is strictly to the point.

Not one track ever feels too long and, at less than 20 minutes, the same can be said of the entire album. There's a special kind of momentum and lasered-in succinctness to what these guys do and how they get their fury on.

Thing is, it really isn't Nails' musicianship that feels like the main attraction here. It's the production. Nails will plummet into your skull in a pretty spectacular and ruthless way, but I do wonder if this album would be even near as good as it is without the influence of Kurt Ballou, the dude from Converge who produced this. Can't say the same about another album he recently did, Black Breath's Sentenced To Life, which, for instance, was enhanced quite broadly by its mixing, but has enough memorable riffing and enough zest on it to suggest that even without as good of production it would remain a must-listen. Just not getting the same vibe from this.

The thrust and energy and the chops are there though, it's just what really sets Abandon All Life apart from a large chunk of other grind, d-beat-y and stripped down death metal groups isn't the vigor and the number of pace-changes these guys fit into their tracks, nor is it how curt their tunes are--it's the sultry griminess stirred into the production. There are some mouthwatering x-factors and whatnot here that make this, thoroughly, a disc that shouldn't be missed. That's just despite the fact that the boisterous rage and passion Nails had on their debut feels like it was toned down a smidge too much for this.

Highlights: "Suum Cuique," and "In Exous."

Band profile: Nails
Album: Abandon All Life


Written on 12.07.2013 by
Wormdrink's real name is George and he's an American.
More reviews by wormdrink414 ››


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Boxcar Willy - 12.07.2013 at 00:54  
Great album.
Fat & Sassy! - 12.07.2013 at 07:23  
This album sounds tough as nails.
Ritual_Suicide - 12.07.2013 at 07:29  
Am I the only person who thinks saying a grindcore album has hardcore and death metal elements is redundant? Other than that teeny, tiny peeve I agree 100% with this review.
DelightfulJim - 12.07.2013 at 18:34  
Still really liked this album, but I preferred their recent ep for some reason.
GregoryOfDoom - 19.07.2013 at 20:34  
These guys are so incredible. All their releases are perfect. Punchy thick production, short, too the point, and every song makes you want to smash everything to bits lol.

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