ALBUM REVIEW: Nasty – Menace

Release Date: September 25th 2020
Label: Century Media Records


With sixteen years and six full-lengths behind them, Belgian hardcore quartet Nasty are making their Century Media Records debut with album number seven, ‘Menace’.

With a refined take on their straight to the point hardcore, Nasty deliver a streamlined and bludgeoning assault with ‘Menace’.

Kicking things off with ‘Ultimate’, guttural vocals, spacious chugs, and a liberal application of harmonics lay Nasty‘s uncompromising sound out for all to see. With equal parts old school hardcore, slam, and metallic hardcore, ‘Menace’ steamrolls through, from the cathartic and pummelling title-track to the fevered and frenzied ‘Be Careful’, the first act of the record doesn’t hold back nor does it give respite, save for a clean chorus on the aforementioned ‘Be Careful’.

With a laser focus on their structure, Nasty deliver an abundance of breakdowns, violent riffs, snapping drums, and a guttural sound that lives up to their namesake. Continuing to maintain the energy on lead single ‘666AM’, sludge and power violence collide as blast beats sit alongside stomping breakdowns and Matthias Tarnath‘s unrelenting growls.

As the record continues, it becomes clear that the tracks are, for the most part, tailored towards their existing fanbase with a heavy emphasis on the live energy to carry them forward. Whilst it’s not necessarily a downside, especially as Nasty have perfected their primal power and appeal, it’s hard to distinguish the middle section of the record.

That being said, guitarist Paddy injects melodeath inspired techniques into ‘Inhale/Exhale’ and ‘Addicted’, with the latter being elevated past a run of the mill hardcore track. As the record winds down, Nasty begin to ease up from their distinct blend of hardcore as ‘Table Of Kings’ plays with groove and ‘The End Of The World’ trades spacious chugs from tremolo picking and bursts of gang vocals for good measure.

Closing with the instrumental ‘Ballad Of Bullets’, Nasty hint at a different avenue as harmonic leads and a reserved approach to their usual pummelling hardcore provides a welcome change. Boasting a swinging breakdown, it concludes the record by showing a glimpse of what Nasty could turn towards after sticking to their brand of hardcore for so long.

Whilst ‘Menace’ will no doubt satisfy die-hard fans, the standout moments are brief and fleeting, and with glimpses of a wider scope teasing towards the end, sadly Nasty play it a little too safe.