Jonathan Hill Dot EU

A Soapbox for Uninformed Opinions

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Gojira Magma Review

General Information:

Artist: Gojira
Album: Magma
Genre(s): Heavy Metal
Subgenres(s): Groove Metal
Released: 2016
Length: 44 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Roadrunner Records

Track List:

01. The Shooting Star
02. Silvera
03. The Cell
04. Stranded
05. Yellowstone
06. Magma
07. Pray
08. Only Pain
09. Low Lands
10. Liberation

Gojira Magma Cover

Gojira Magma Cover

Gojira Magma Review

Magma is the sixth album by French heavy metal band Gojira. By their own standard, Gojira are far more subdued and concise on Magma than all of their predecessors with much of this being down to a conscious decision “to be a little punchier sometimes*”. The unfortunate passing of Joe and Mario Duplantier’s mother will also have undoubtedly had an effect on the mood of the album too.

Those familiar with the band will expect Mario Duplantier to unleash a percussive barrage at the start of The Shooting Star but instead the song breaks into a simple nu metal-esque guitar riff, rock drumming and monotonous chanting wrapped up in reverb. To their credit this well-worn style is done with a unique flare and as the first song it sends a message to long-time fans that Magma is going to have something different about it.

This isn’t to say that long-time fans will be alienated because the next three songs, Silvera, The Cell and Stranded leap right back into the groove metal sound that Gojira fans are listening out for, complete with the shouted vocals that are sometimes mixed with this new monotonous speak-singing style, but the death metal influence has all but evaporated.

Gojira tradition dictates that there should be a short instrumental track in the middle of the album and this time it comes in the form of Yellowstone, a 79 second garage rock jam doused in distortion that is, to put it politely, unfocused. Maybe the band was testing the waters or maybe they needed a new way to express themselves but in the end it comes up short. In contrast the acoustic song, Liberation, is a peaceful instrumental that is as stripped back as it gets with only a simple percussive beat to accompany the guitar. It isn’t how you’d expect the album to end but it is pleasant and quite possibly the most honest expression of some of the feelings in the band.

Between introducing a flute on Pray, flirting with new genres and taking a lighter approach to their own style Gojira are still far from a full-on metamorphosis like some bands have undergone. For this reason there is plenty here to appease the core fans while still being able to cast a wider net without overtly changing. Only time will tell if the band embraces these new characteristics or reverts back to their traditional sound.

Performers:

Joe Duplantier: Vocals, guitar, flute
Christian Andreu: Guitar
Jean-Michel Labadie: Bass
Mario Duplantier: Drums

External Links:

Gojira Homepage
Gojira on Wikipedia
Magma on Wikipedia

* http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/gojiras-joseph-duplantier-says-next-album-will-feature-some-pantera-ish-kind-of-riffs/ “We want [the riffs] to be a little punchier sometimes”

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Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Review

General Information:

Artist: Nails
Album: You Will Never Be One of Us
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Grindcore
Released: 2016
Length: 22 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Nuclear Blast

Track List:

01. You Will Never Be One of Us
02. Friend to All
03. Made to Make You Fail
04. Life is a Death Sentence
05. Violence is Forever
06. Savage Intolerance
07. In Pain
08. Parasite
09. Into Quietus
10. They Come Crawling Back

Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Cover

Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Cover

Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Review

You Will Never Be One of Us is the third album by American grindcore band Nails. The band has remained largely consistent with all of the common threads running through their previous albums still being present here. For anyone unfamiliar with Nails, their template is along the lines of:

• 10 songs per album
• Angry and/or pessimistic lyrics
• Incorporating elements of sludge metal and noise into their grindcore sound
• Chaotic micro-songs
• Ending the album with a noticeably longer and more experimental song
• Masterful tempo shifts

The Nails sound can still be summed up as “utter chaos” or that “it’s almost entirely forgettable because it is over before it starts” in reference to aforementioned micro-songs playing at breakneck tempos.

You Will Never Be One of Us received the customary testosterone injection to ensure that fans can rejoice at the unrepentant ferocity that Nails are known for. Vocalist Todd Jones, who had a throaty shout on their previous two albums, has now adopted a more guttural style that also appears to have been altered in the studio at the same time.

Friend to All and Life is a Death Sentence both feature the masterful tempo shifts that see Nails instantly drop the suffocating blast beats to switch to the bridge of the song or a slower guitar riff respectively because despite rushing through songs, they always manage to find time to throw this impressive feat into the mix.

There is some change to be found in the title track and Violence is Forever. Both are fairly accessible, at least by Nails standards, with the former having the mantra “you will never be one of us” far more distinguishable from the other lines to give it something resembling a hook (albeit loosely) and the latter focuses on memorable riffs while playing for a reasonable three and a half minutes. Some noise is then thrown in at the end just in case you thought Nails might go easy on your ears.

As Nails tradition has it, the final song is longer and more experimental than the rest and They Come Crawling Back does not disappoint. At 8 minutes long it takes up a little over 1/3 of the album and is by far the longest song Nails have recorded by about 3 minutes. It starts out with a slow, desolate black metal guitar riff accompanied by the lo-fi distortion you’d expect from an early 90s album before thundering into life. Starting with lots of momentum, the song slows down and eventually enters into sludge metal territory that is spliced up with some guitar screeching to disorientate the listener and a few of the words are quietly spoken too.

If you are already a fan of Nails then You Will Never Be One of Us will not disappoint. For those wondering where to start with Nails then the longer playing time and improved song writing will make this album an ideal starting point. Nails haven’t changed that much so for the minor differences to add up to something significant it will be over the course of a few albums.

Performers:

Todd Jones: Vocals, guitars
John Gianelli : Bass guitar
Taylor Young: Drums

External Links:

Nails Homepage
Nails on Wikipedia
You Will Never Be One of Us on Wikipedia

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Nails Abandon All Life Review

General Information:

Artist: Nails
Album: Abandon All Life
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Grindcore
Released: 2013
Length: 17 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Southern Lord

Track List:

01. In Exodus
02. Tyrant
03. Absolute Control
04. God’s Cold Hands
05. Wide Open Wound
06. Abandon All Life
07. No Surrender
08. Pariah
09. Cry Wolf
10. Suum Cuique

Nails Abandon All Life Cover

Nails Abandon All Life Cover

Nails Abandon All Life Review

Abandon All Life is the second album by American grindcore band Nails. Three years on from their debut and Nails show no signs of slowing down as they ferociously hammer through another uncompromising batch of micro-songs.

There’s barely a moment to breathe and at 17 minutes long Abandon All Life is somehow as long as it needs to be. To demonstrate the direct and uncompromising mission statement from Nail you need not look any further than the 23 second vignette that is Cry Wolf. It is nothing but sheer auditory terror that also leads to the crux of the problem with this kind of song writing: it’s almost entirely forgettable because it is over before it starts.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t any talent here; it’s simply a case of beyond the raw intensity of their performance you will be hard-pressed to find much else.

With their intense anger, short blasts of chaos and lack of anything even remotely nuanced Nails are squarely on the caveman side of extreme music which will make Abandon All Life a welcome addition to any grindcore collection but for anyone anticipating an expansion on their foundation will be left to look elsewhere.

Performers:

Todd Jones: Vocals, guitars
John Gianelli : Bass guitar
Taylor Young: Drums
Andy Saba: Lead guitar

External Links:

Nails Homepage
Nails on Wikipedia
Abandon All Life on Wikipedia

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Nails Unsilent Death Review

General Information:

Artist: Nails
Album: Unsilent Death
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Grindcore
Released: 2010
Length: 14 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Six Feet Under Records, Southern Lord

Track List:

01. Conform
02. Scum Will Rise
03. Your God
04. Suffering Soul
05. Unsilent Death
06. Traitor
07. I Will Not Follow
08. No Servant
09. Scapegoat
10. Depths

Nails Unsilent Death Cover

Nails Unsilent Death Cover

Nails Unsilent Death Review

Unsilent Death is the debut album of American grindcore outfit Nails. At only 3 minutes longer than their 2009 EP, Obscene Humanity, this brings the total running time to approximately 14 minutes. For a debut album this is a meagre introduction on the surface because it doesn’t give the impression that you can fit much into such a short span of time.

Nails are quick on the draw to prove the listener wrong and throw you into the middle of their sonic fray with Conform, a 31 second blast straight from the bowels of hell that leads right into Scum Will Rise through feedback noises to continue their sensory assault. This serves as the base-line for Unsilent Death and there’s rarely a moment to remember because of the utter chaos compacted into these micro-songs, of which many are under a minute long, since it’s next to impossible to digest what you hear when most tracks almost start before the last one ends.

Suffering Soul and the title track do manage to slow down and retain some sense of melody, mainly due to the fact that there is a heavier focus on hardcore punk. At best it proves that Nails don’t have an entirely one-track mind and at worst were included for the sake of variety but in either scenario their inclusion works to the advantage of the album. The title track is especially well crafted and includes some of the bands noise elements.

For the listeners who manage to wade their way through Unsilent Death will also pick up on the knack that Nails possesses to do sudden, sharp tempo shifts in a seemingly effortless manner without ever sounding disjointed as demonstrated in the 28 second long track Traitor.

Every musical element from the blasting grindcore sounds to feedback noise and even sludge metal are used on the closing track, Depths, which proves that Nails are capable of far more dynamic compositions when they put their minds to it and they achieve far better results on the few longer tracks on Unsilent Death.

Nails are catering to the furthest ends of the extreme music community and if you happen to have a penchant for short blasts of unrelenting chaos and/or lack anything that resembles an attention span then you will feel right at home with Unsilent Death. For everyone else there isn’t going to be much in the way of replay value bar a few shining moments.

Performers:

Todd Jones: Vocals, guitars
John Gianelli : Bass guitar
Taylor Young: Drums

External Links:

Nails Homepage
Nails on Wikipedia
Unsilent Death on Wikipedia