You ever have one of those days? The kind of days where the only color you see is red. The kind of days where the blood is constantly boiling like some primordial stew. The kind of days where, by the end of it all, you are ready to rip someone’s throat out with your bare hands. The perfect soundtrack for those days has finally been unearthed in the form of Abandon All Life by California’s Nails.
Truly any number of bands who play the crust/grind hybrid that Nails peddles in could be your doomsday soundtrack if it’s done right. Certainly bands like His Hero Is Gone and Nasum, for example, have given their fair share of listeners the motivation to strike fast and hard. But there’s something about this record that gives it that extra piss and vinegar needed to push you off the cliff, so to speak. Whether it’s the blazing lightning strike of opener “In Exodus” or the pit-inducing crunch of “Wide Open Wound” or the full on blasting of “No Surrender”, every cut on this record is an absolute monster of aggression and anger. Even on a song such as “Suum Cuique”, where they allow their doom influences to reign they are still delivering an absolute gut punch to the senses.
Nails dwells in that deep, dark well where the worlds of crust punk, grindcore, and hardcore all seem to gather for secret rituals, calling on the dead of previous generations of bands that simply could not give a single fuck about trends or popularity contests. Abandon All Life is the band’s second full-length album and honestly could be considered their homage to the raw and nasty ethos those genres were founded on. Nails carries the flag for bands that want to channel primal aggression the right way. If you like your music fast and pissed with the occasional deathly dirge thrown into the mix then you’ve come to the right place.
There’s been a ton of “comebacks” in metal over the last few years. More and more bands, especially in the thrash realm, are seizing a chance to regain some old fans and maybe score some new ones as well. Although it’s great to see some of these killer acts in the live setting again the results in the studio are not always up to snuff. Which is why when Riot released their album Thundersteel in 1988 after a five year hiatus (and with almost an entirely new line-up) it was pretty mind-blowing how much better they had become. Possibly one of the best “comeback” albums metal has ever produced. If you are fan of early thrash and power metal you should be all over this album.