Nails – Abandon All Life

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Nails
Abandon All Life
Southern Lord

I’ve now come to the conclusion that with any albums that literally seem to scream with rage and absolute anger right now that the best way for me to address the quality through the sea of furiously heavy grindy brutal death metal and otherwise assorted bands is to judge it on whether, after a few listens, it still makes me want to rock out, possibly in the street, and if it makes me want to smash stuff up and indeed, if it makes me angry. In a good way. I can be angry too about a bad record, Michael Keene! But I digress.

For I can’t stop listening to ‘Abandon All Life’, the latest release from California’s quartet Nails. For all their good work previously including the excellent ‘Unsilent Death’, nothing to date tops this latest effort, where everything, from the writing, to the riffs, the songs…everything. Its only seventeen minutes long and the majority of songs slip just past the minute mark, mixing up grind, hardcore, crust, even death metal in the mix. Sure, this record was hyped up beyond belief, but Nails excel in areas where many simply cannot live up to. After the all out speed of the opening few tracks, showing fine but no plagiaristic Nasum influence, they drop ‘God’s Cold Hands’, which has a little more in terms of structure but is no less intense for it, particularly as they roar the song’s title as a chorus. There’s also the title-track, which has a cheeky nod towards Suffocation territory with a sweeping tempo change to finish off the song. I can’t find a flaw. The hammer drops from the off and for its entirety, ‘Abandon All Life’ pounds away with every last breath, leaving behind a caustic trail to char the streets for all time to come.

Peter Clegg

Nails – God’s Cold Hands

Buy ‘Abandon All Life’ here

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