Abandon All Life

Southern Lord 2013

Somehow I doubt there is anything more hatefilled lurking in the Californian underground.  Nails is sheer aggression in the form of a grind encrusted hardcore band.  And this album is pure extremity and monstrous malice.  In Exodus opens with those characteristic blasts of crust tainted destruction.  The initial riffs are fat and crunchy but quickly yield to unrelenting speed.  The down-tuned explosions of intensity and cruel speed that guide Absolute Control towards its ultimate cataclysm are nothing short of breathtaking.  Gods Cold Hands however use a set of hardcore breaks to set up grindy bursts of drums and frenzied riffs.  This style finally folds in on itself in the latter half of the song which is a beefy plod that just bludgeons your soul with its gargantuan muscles.  You can hear the rage-filled screams all the way down to your tightly clenched fists.  The songs quickly race into one another leaving the listener gasping for air and clutching at the bruised and mutilated wounds that are left where their ears once were.  Luckily I have enough left of my eardrums to hear the atmospheric utterings and rearward crunch of Wide Open Wounds.  The title-track is uncontrolled fury with riffs and vocals flailing about, maiming all they come into contact with.  The track breaks into some Morbid Angel-esque rhythms and shrill harmonics.  These are completely overtaken by the blinding anger of No Surrender.  A Swedish death sensibility dominates the soundscape of Pariah's midtempo onslaught.  The dragging main riff and down-tuned rumble of Suum Cuique crushes you under the weight of those titan guitars.   As Abandon All Life ends the riffs slow and crest into the abyssic darkness like the droning death knell of the apocalypse.  The new album from Nails is even more intense and rabid than their debut.  And this is how it feels to suffer a 17-minute barrage of hammerstrikes to your battered body.