At the forefront of a Southern Lord roster, which is across the board exceptional, Californian blood spitters Nails are unrivaled in their ability to deliver such bile drenched sonic violence in a way which is both utterly terrifying and breathlessly cathartic. Leaving impressive debut ‘Unsilent Death’ limping steadfastly in the dust, sophomore full-length ‘Abandon All Life’ is a lesson in unfettered aggression.
There’s something to be said be for an outfit that can take a sound steeped in tumultuous pace and spin on a dime structure, yet remain so exhiliratingly infectious. Tracks such as thunderous opening salvo ‘In Exodus’ and a skin flaying ‘God’s Cold Hands’ may stand on a foundation of flash fire speed, still the lunging appearance of some malodorous breakdown grooves (‘Abandon All Life’, ‘No Surrender’) give us something not far around the corner to latch onto, without compromising an ounce on the venom. The colossal half-time sludge and heave of a monstrous ‘Wide Open Wound’ is a particularly hard-hitting case in point.
Indeed, for a release barely clocking in at the seventeen minute mark, it certainly cannot be said that Nails skimp on the dynamics. The record morphs from blankets of scathing blast beats and seething riff work through to fetid expanses of churning menace, culminating in closer ‘Suum Cuique’ which leaves us on a barbaric instrumental work out.
Albeit brief, ‘Abandon All Life’ is a dense display of a band on ravenous form. Manically intense, unbridled in its indulgent malice and brimming with more stellar riffing than we will hear from a record all year, Nails exit with us wearied, broken, and yearning for more.
Written by Tony Bliss
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.