Down with the Nails
Old, the newest find by the masterminds behind Darkthrone/Tyrant Syndicate, has been finding a lot of rotation time in my CD player lately. You can see why Fenriz and Nocturno Culto chose them as they fit in perfectly with fellow label mates, Aura Noir who are pretty similar in style and attitude. Old plays a fairly straightforward game by taking the black metal sensibilities of Darkthrone (Norwegian black metal with a heavy dose of Celtic Frost) and incorporating a massive load of old school thrash riffing into the mix. Black Jewel Throne starts off with some Celtic Frost inspired riffing as the song title might suggest. Blood Skull (the only demo song on here) really gets things going with its speedy electric riffing which leads naturally into my favorite song Lust in Red with more of that crusty and thrashy aggression. Probably the most blatant of the Celtic Frost references are the opening sections of Empire in Flames. Or maybe it is on Scream for Hell where they even do that memorable high pitched guitar squeal a la Visions of Mortality. With all that said, Old do manage to take all those influences from the scene of yesteryear and make them their own. I mean I hear the thrash references but can't really place who they are coming from. Old also has a real knack for putting ins some clever rhythm changes with some cool breaks and such which is best exemplified on the title track. The production on this album is absolutely perfect for their style. Those sharp cutting guitars grind their way through my skull every time I listen to this album. Reaper's vocals have finally achieved the power and captured the hatred that their Blood Skull rehearsal tape and Nocturnal Ritual 7" had promised. Down with the Nails is a highly enjoyable album that is chock full of old school nostalgia yet Old have updated that style while at the same time remaining regressive as hell. Simply put, this is my perfect style of music.