Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: Nailed - A Pure World Is A Dead World

I feel really bad for this band just because of how they got jacked. Nailed deserved a fuck of a lot better than Crash, and especially when Crash apparently didn't feel like properly printing the layout. Seriously, if you get your hands on a physical copy of this, you'll cringe: the cover art is horribly pixelated, the layout elements are incredibly sloppy- the whole thing is a hack job from top to bottom.

Which is very unfortunate because 'A Pure World Is A Dead World' could be said to 'fucking rule' if I was one of those bro-type metallers who didn't listen to a lot of Burzum. Admittedly, Nailed don't have a whole lot of personality, but their execution of their particular gimmick is so good it hardly matters. Nailed plays Morbid Angel songs in a modern brutal death context and does it just about better than anyone out there (right next to Throne Of Nails or Estuary in this regard). The weirder part is that the biggest influence actually seems to be 'Domination' in the sense of riffcraft and emphasis on slow, epic passages, but instead of shitting out an AIDS-covered turd of an album like 'Domination', Nailed actually makes something incredibly compelling (and absurdly brutal) with their sole full-length.

To be fair, a lot of the sheer coolness of this album is courtesy of the amazing production: just clear enough to hear everything (except the bass, of course), but also super cluttered and chaotic- it's hard to breathe when the band is going full-tilt (which is most of the time). The guitars have a sloppy, malignant tone, actually surprisingly similar to a good version of the tone on Morbid Angel's 'Heretic', and their crazy volume and hard panning lets the drums and vocals sit right in the middle of all the chaos, usually the most coherent parts of the music. Not that they're not insane in their own way- the drum presence is dotted with sudden, immediate stop/starts and weird cymbal switching while the vocals are just so crazed and ranting they're hard not to smile at.

An Azagthoth sense of riffcraft comes out in full force on this record: lots of Morbid Angel's traditional, twisted tremolo riffs are present, chopped up with modern brutal death's inclination towards sudden flurries of obvious technicality, with explosions of pinch harmonics and dissonant chords forming fills before the next ugly, tense tremolo riff starts up. Nailed tend to use similar note patterns to older Morbid Angel, even; a lot of the riffs sound like they could have come directly off of 'Convenant', were it not for the sense of battering rhythm the band takes from brutal death. That seemingly minor addition is what really makes this band more than a typical Morbid Angel clone. The sheer brutality of the band's more modern influences helps overdrive Morbid Angel's classic sound significantly and updates it in a manner that's altogether surprising and pleasing to the ear.

This is in no way an incredibly nuanced album: Nailed is pretty content to simply batter the listener into submission on every track, only occasionally allowing some breathing room for a slower passage to open up. Despite the basic lack of variation on display, though, the compact package the album presents manages to stay gripping all the way through, never getting bogged down in a lack of motion or repetitive songwriting. I know how cliched it is to say 'an exciting combination of oldschool and modern styles', but in Nailed's case, it might be the first time it's accurate.

Buy this album on Amazon

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