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
02. Scum Will Rise
03. Your God
04. Suffering Soul
05. Unsilent Death
07. I Will Not Follow
08. No Servant
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.
Todd Jones: Vocals, guitars John Gianelli : Bass guitar Taylor Young: Drums
Artist: Deftones Album: Gore Genre(s): Rock Subgenres(s): Experimental Rock Released: 2016 Length: 48 minutes Language(s): English Label(s): Reprise Records
02. Acid Hologram
03. Doomed User
04. Geometric Headdress
06. Pittura Infamante
10. Phantom Bride
Deftones Gore Cover
Deftones Gore Review
Gore is the 8th studio album by American rock band Deftones. As the band has evolved and implemented new sounds into their repertoire over the years it is self-evident with Gore that they’re still cutting into new territory. This has largely been caused by the conflicts within the band over what direction they should move in and somehow both camps got their way through an amalgamation of post hardcore, post rock, shoegaze and sludge metal in different measures. Some of these genres do already overlap in other musical circles but Deftones have managed to combine them in an entirely new way that most easily placed Gore under the large umbrella genre of experimental rock.
The use of the pop format is still present in many places but there is also a two part song found in Pittura Infamante, meaning “infamous painting” in Italian, and Xenon. This format also works to their advantage by being able to experiment sonically while still appealing to a wide audience.
Chino Moreno’s voice is at times heavily distorted to sound like high pitched radio garble so his lyrics aren’t always easy to recognise, with many of them being cryptic enough to be interpreted in many ways depending on the listener, but he also clings onto his distinct singing voice elsewhere when he isn’t breaking into a shouting frenzy elsewhere.
There are some parallels to be found with their 2006 album, Saturday Night Wrist, in terms of subdued musical elements although the flirtation with trip hop found there and with White Pony (2000) are nowhere to be heard. The opening song, Prayers/Triangles, kicks off Gore with familiar feedback noise from Saturday Night Wrist’s opening song, Hole in the Earth, but instead of launching into a meaty guitar riff it dissolves to introduce the subdued moods that are littered throughout Gore. (L)MIRL follows on much in the same way whereas the title track is much less streamlined and evolves into a massive sludge metal plod towards the end.
There is certainly no hugger-mugger from the variety of influences that have crept into the melting pot that is Gore because everything from the internal conflicts of the bands has managed to be turned into an unexpected advantage rather than a hindrance. How far the pendulum swings from this point on is yet to be seen but if Gore is any indication to go by then Deftones will continue to innovate.
Abe Cunningham: Drums Stephen Carpenter: Guitar Frank Delgado: Samples, keyboards Chino Moreno: Vocals, guitar Sergio Vega: Bass Jerry Cantrell: Additional guitars (track 10)
Artist: Napalm Death Album: Smear Campaign (Limited Edition) Genre(s): Rock Subgenres(s): Grindcore Released: 2016 Length: 54 minutes (including bonus tracks) Language(s): English Label(s): Century Media
02. Sink Fast, Let Go
04. Puritanical Punishment Beating
05. When All is Said and Done
06. Freedom is the Wage of Sin
07. In Deference
09. Identity Crisis
10. Shattered Existence
11. Eyes Right Out
12. Call That an Option? (Bonus Track)
13. Warped Beyond Logic
14. Rabid Wolves (For Christ)
15. Deaf and Dumbstruck (Intelligent Design)
16. Persona Non Grata
17. Smear Campaign
18. Atheist Runt (Bonus Track)
Napalm Death Smear Campaign Limited Edition Cover
Napalm Death Smear Campaign Limited Edition Review
Smear Campaign is the twelfth studio album by British grindcore pioneers Napalm Death. While many of their albums from the 1990s to the first half of the 2000s walk the line between death metal and grindcore, the punkish approach to song-writing pushes Smear Campaign further towards the grindcore camp this time around.
Despite the overtly chaotic nature of Smear Campaign, the music is relatively straightforward with the raw intensity coming from the self-described blast beat terrorism drumming of Danny Herrera and the combined guttural performances of lead vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway and bassist/backing vocalist Shane Embury while Mitch Harris provides feral high pitched shrieks for contrast.
For this reason alone the lyrics are largely undecipherable without having a written copy in front of you for reference. In some ways this is quite a shame because Napalm Death brings a much needed intellectual counter balance to extreme music lyrics which offset the staple diet of guts, gore and cartoonish bellyaching about the woes of the world. Instead they deliver sharp and direct criticism of religion and society, the main themes of Smear Campaign, without the tired and overused approach of most other bands that tackle the subject.
Early on the band addresses the philosophical concept of fatalism, on the song Fatalist no less, to proclaim that “existing becomes a prison where self-discovery’s forbidden”. Since Fatalism is the belief that all actions are predetermined (fated to happen) then there’s no control or changing of any unfolding events. It is then concluded at the end of the song that “any fool starting afresh would surely ditch this/after two-thousand years of schism/only irreligious hearts can do the saving” so as to offer a solution in saying that a new, non-religious train of thought must take hold within society to make progress for the betterment of everyone instead of clinging on to ideologies that were developed thousands of years ago and don’t necessarily apply to modern life.
The theme of societal progress and anti-religion is reinforced with the chorus to When All is Said and Done, which proclaims that “when all is said and done/heaven lies in my heart/no slave to beliefs that propagate pain/when all is said and done/heaven lies in our hearts/this life is a gift to be lived and loved” to reject ideologies that harm people and strip away the value of life itself.
Along with the critical lyrics comes an added sense of melody and experimentation in some instances because, after all, there is only so far you can push outright aggression before you repeat yourself or begin to stagnate. Some notable moments include the industrial influenced introductory song, Weltschmerz, which includes a wordless vocal contribution from Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering), who also performs the monotonous spoken word piece on In Deference. On paper this comes across as an odd pairing but it is probably the only way that her voice could fit into this kind of music and the end results are effective in blending her voice to the cacophony around her without coming across as forced experiment for the sake of it.
Smear Campaign closes with a 3 part mini-epic that will easily catch many fans off guard. Persona Non Grata is the first part and sees Napalm Death using measured aggression to play off against slower moments with growled vocals performed in a melodic fashion that will make you think that the band are about to burst into clean singing at any second. Sludge metal is then embraced for the miniature title track along with the more melodic singing style that turns into a sort of echo-laden chant before fading out and concluding the album on the standard edition.
On the limited edition this then leads into the second bonus track and third part of the mini-epic, Atheist Runt, which is the slowest and longest song on the album at nearly 7 minutes long. This will prove to be quite a test for some fans due to the slow nature of it and yet it is by far one of the most rewarding moments of the whole album if you appreciate the bands decision to branch out and do something a bit different.
Underneath what will sound like the utter chaos of a battlefield to most people, Napalm Death have artfully fused thoughtful lyrical content and a bold experimental edge into their frantic grindcore blueprint to prove that they are as innovative on Smear Campaign as they were at their inception.
Mark “Barney” Greenway: Shouting, Screaming, Swans, Sermons (Lead vocals, lyrics on 1-4, 6-9 and 11-6) Shane Embury: Four Strings of the Apocalypse, NY Aggro Lung Assault (Bass, backing vocals, lyrics on 5 and 10) Mitch Harris: Shredding, Grinding, Subliming Noise, Shrill Cries (Guitar, backing vocals) Danny Herrera: Blast Beat Terrorism (Drums) Anneke van Giersbergen: Additional vocals (1 and 7)
Artist: Disturbed Album: Indestructible Genre(s): Heavy Metal, Rock Subgenres(s): Hard Rock, Traditional Heavy Metal Released: 2008 Length: 50 minutes Language(s): English Label(s): Reprise
02. Inside the Fire
04. The Night
05. Perfect Insanity
08. The Curse
Disturbed Indestructible Cover
Disturbed Indestructible Review
Indestructible is the fourth album by Disturbed and their second in the hard rock/traditional heavy metal style that was adopted on their last album, Ten Thousand Fists. Aside from a small step forward in musicianship not much has changed stylistically and Indestructible is a direction continuation of that sound.
This time around there are less songs and a slightly shorter running time which both work in Disturbed’s favour because despite refining their knack for high calibre anthems even further, Indestructible is very much a by the numbers effort and the first few songs will let you know exactly what you’re in for so not much is going to catch you off guard.
The title track gets the ball rolling and sets the tone perfectly with a mid-paced guitar riff that is preceded by air raid sirens. The lyrics have an inspirational angle that is used to address and motivate soldiers which contrasts with the contemplational lyrics of Overburdened, a song from Ten Thousand Fists, which deals with the morality of war and its consequences.
Many of the other lyrics found on Indestructible deal with harsher subject matter such as suicide (Inside the Fire), mental illness (Perfect Insanity) and domestic abuse (Façade) but if your band operates under the moniker Disturbed you probably feel somewhat obligated to live up to your name.
Unlike the infamous shock monologue heard on Down with the Sickness from their debut album, Façade is far more mature in dealing with the subject matter of domestic abuse, which describes the situation of a female victim with David Draiman questioning “for how long will you try?/how long until you walk away?/your facade can’t disguise/the fact that you’re in misery” before the situation is escalated to her retaliation with lines like “homicide flashes through her mind again/no more pain, take control/if he raises his hand again/she’ll find her freedom in killing him/the world will see that she’s had enough” which points to her taking her partners life and the situation subsequently unfolding through the media.
Perfect Insanity and Divide were both originally written before the release of their debut, The Sickness, in 2000 but they didn’t make it onto the album and it’s not hard to see why since they didn’t adhere to the strict nu metal sound that Disturbed moved onto at that stage in their career. The groove metal foundation of these songs translates into their current hard rock/traditional heavy metal sound exceptionally well because they both offer a lot of aggression that is rounded off with their emphasis on melody to bring the best of both worlds together.
Other moments on the album such as the bridge to Enough ramp up the aggression not only in terms of instruments but also in terms of David Draiman’s vocal delivery, which is done with a deeper snarling voice that is outright ferocious. His manic laughter on Inside the Fire is another highlight in its own right while the keyboards/programmed parts heard on some songs are tastefully integrated to enhance the atmosphere.
To some listeners Indestructible could start to wear thin after a few listens because Disturbed haven’t really pushed their sound out of the box on this album but their ability to fuse hard driving guitar anthems with an unrivalled sense of melody will undoubtedly allow them to embed themselves in your ears after any amount of time spent listening to them.
David Draiman: Vocals Dan Donegan: Guitar, electronics Mike Wengren: Drums, backing vocals John Moyer: Bass guitar