Nails You Will Never Be One Of Us2016 Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Few ever will be.
Clocking in at 21 minutes, Nails‘ “You’ll Never Be One Of Us” is the band’s longest outing to date. It’s also perhaps one of their most immediate records, sans the sprawling drone of the Coalesce/Converge-like final track, “They Come Crawling Back“—which eats up about half of that running time.
The rest of this effort finds the trio effectively leading a stampede of bloodthirsty horned beasts right into your sternum. It’s an outright bloodbath filled with frenetic measures of noise, grind, powerviolence, thrash and unadulterated animosity. Hell there’s even moments where it sounds like someone poured battery acid on the early discography of Slayer and Sepultura.
With the majority of songs weighing in at around 1:30, the group set out to demolish with blunt objects and dull blades. Their tools lack finesse, but they more than compensate for it in terms of pure depravity and intent. It’s a cacophony of meat hook bass lines, verbal assailment and a hurricane of riffs filled with equal parts concertina wire and molten shrapnel. Backing all that up is a unrelenting percussive onslaught that hammers crater inducing groove and skull fracturing blasts.
With such velocity and savagery at play, it’s the little things that begin to stand out once you’re able to convalesce from the initial shell shock. The punky stomp bass groove that temporarily buoys “Friend To All” is one such highlight. The truncated sidewinder squelch of solos that blast off in “Made To Make You Fail” and “Violence Is Forever” are also memorable. Speaking of which, at 3:26 in length, the latter track makes good use of its relatively protracted stay by unloading enough double kick to stamp out a forest fire.
There’s something to be said for brevity and while much of “You’ll Never Be One Of Us” might as well be a truncheon gleefully inverting your facial features, the group don’t merely revel in chaos. There is diversity here, it’s just so rapid-fire that it takes awhile to fully appreciate. It’s a raw destructive vision aided by a looser production approach (and some clever mixing) once again provided by Converge‘s Kurt Ballou.
It might be a bit looser than you’d expect, but it’s also an interesting aesthetic that ultimately proves the true power of Nails lies more in a live venue than a studio. There’s just far too much inexorable viciousness and sonic dissonance here to be properly conveyed through your average set of ear buds without substantial hearing loss. It begs to be felt.
With “You Will Never Be One Of Us“, Nails look to have firmly cemented themselves in the highest echelon of the annual year end lists. Eschewing hipster bullshit and taking an almost outsider mentality to any trend, the band have delivered what may just be the most searing metal statement of 2016.