Genre: Grindcore / Powerviolence / Hardcore
Label: Southern Lord Recordings
The second album of a band that is loved by the media, is undeniably heavy, but also draws a lot of hate from fanatics in the true underground.
Abandon All Life was the follow-up to Unsilent Death, which was praised like a god by fans of hardcore and not only. The album has a lovely total of 17 minutes, which is the starting point to get pumped about a record that you want to be hard-hitting. How hard does it hit, you ask?
Well, Nails is a kind of a band that seems like a constant, really angry thug. Merciless music, unforgiving lyrics, intense shows and playing, it doesn't give you a break and if you think it is easy to go through these seventeen minutes, you will stand corrected.
If I had listened to them in time, this would have been really high in my lists for 2013, as You Will Never Be One of Us was in 2016 (even though, this cheesy title is annoying).
I think Nails have an awesome grindcore / powerviolence palette. They have nose-bleeding hardcore breakdowns and supreme vocals. The lyrics are sincere and agressive. Their metallic sound gives a hint of a slight, really slight though, look towards extreme metal. But their core is not in that genre.
This production, which is quite heavy on its own, makes them a bit more accessible compared to frantic, insane grindcore acts who play anti-music and talk about raping worms.
What I mean is, it is universally true that The Inalienable Dreamless is the best grindcore album ever. Nails have more popularity than usual, because their kind of extremity is actually media-friendly. They are guys to be featured on the fronts of zines.
That is not to undermine their music, as I enjoy all their stuff and I have listened to the b-sides too. Abandon All Life was an instant fall for me. It has a great title, improved artwork, improved sound (in my opinion), and much better vocals (my opinion, but also adjectivally true) than Unsilent Death.
Listening to Nails is a physical boost of testosterone and it's impossible not to get your blood going. The process of their songs is actually well thought. The death metal elements are wonderful. The band's solos are basically worshiping of early Slayer. What can go wrong? Only the fans can really go wrong.
I am very happy they are not a professional band but do this on the side, as they have their own families and lives. It's less compromising.
I come back to Nails from time to time and share it with non-metal friends to scare them off, because to an outsider, all of us are an impassable grey, freaky cloud. Abandon All Life is one of the albums I listen to the most from this decade, when I don't feel like listening to my regular black metal playlists.
2019 might be the year they release a new album, if they keep being punctual with their releases (2010, 2013 and 2016). We'll see later this year.
1. In Exodus
3. Absolute Control
4. God's Cold Hands
5. Wide Open Wound
6. Abandon All Life
7. No Surrender
9. Cry Wolf
10. Suum Cuique
Listen on Bandcamp