Nails - Abandon All Life
Southern Lord
10 songs (17:16)
Release year: 2013
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Koeppe
Album of the year

Nails return with their second LP, clocking in at a whopping seventeen minutes of anger and fury. Todd Jones, the “hardcore virtuoso” of Terror fame, lays down ten tracks of sick, fuzzed out riffs that you can’t help but want to mosh to. Nails cranks out beatdown riffs like no other hardcore/grind act these days. What makes Nails stand out from other grindcore acts that operate on this level of brevity is that despite the deceptive length, these tracks are filled to the brim with intricacy that keeps you coming back for more.

Opening with a fuzzed out plodding beatdown riff, it doesn’t take long for the first track, In Exodus to break out and begin blasting away, riding a solid d-beat and intense blasting on those cymbals the song inaugurates quite nicely the next fifteen minutes of near perpetual breakdowns. Tyrant opts for a cleaner breakdown, but the first three tracks hold the line in terms of being one minute frenzies. God’s Cold Hands is where the band does something new: at two minutes, the song seems to stretch time through its shifts in pace and by how many sections can be squeezed in to the time length. Nails has never seemed so fast as on this track; the song is simply one sped up breakdown that drops into slower or mid-pace breakdowns as it sees fit with Jones’ mangled roars over top. The next track, Wide Open Wound, pairs with the previous to create a solid five minute block of the album that is simply outstanding; Wide Open Wound being essentially a rather melancholic, drawn out plodding breakdown that relents only in order to dig deeper. The other tracks maintain this intensity, simple experimentations of how differently can one do fast. Cry Wolf is from the Skin Like Iron/Nails split from last year, with a much sleeker production, but same amount of intensity packed into twenty three seconds. And with a closing line of “SO GO TALK YOUR FUCKING SHIT”, it creates quite an intense intro to the closing track, Suum Cuique. The end of the line culminates in an interesting mix of blasting and chugging, being the longest Nails track ever at five minutes long. It slowly stretches the breakdown out before becoming droning feedback.

With this album, four years and four albums later, the band has finally broken the cumulative forty five minute mark. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but all too often twelve minutes of this stuff will bludgeon your senses quite enough. But if you were to need more, the intricacy of each track warrants more than enough replay value. Kurt Ballou squeezes every nuance out of all the riffs, perfectly accenting each element of the noise so that is not simply noise. And to be quite honest, no other band is a better soundtrack to breaking shit to than these riffs.

Killing Songs :
Koeppe quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Nails that we have reviewed:
Nails - Unsilent Death reviewed by Crash and quoted 84 / 100
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