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Sunday Old School: Nasum

We've seen before in our Sunday Old School series of columns how grindcore, a sub-genre more or less agreed upon to have been started in England, a suitably grim setting for such a filthy style, has spread throughout the world since its genesis. While the scenes in the UK and the United States provided us with some of grindcore's biggest names such as Carcass and Brutal Truth, bands such as Cripple Bastards in Italy showed that the style wasn't just limited to English speaking nations and such is the case with today's featured band, Nasum.

Nasum were formed in 1992 in the city of Örebro by guitarist Anders Jakobson and drummer Rickard Alriksson, who also provided vocals, a rare thing but seen before by such bands as Autopsy. They were soon joined in their endeavour by Polish guitar player Mieszko Talarczyk, who joined in time to participate in recording the split release, "Who Shares the Guilt?/Blind World" with Agathocles through Poserslaughter Records. It was the first of a number of split releases, which saw the band share vinyl with the likes of Psycho, Autoritär and Abstain amongst many others, with EPs of their own finally surfacing in 1995 and 1997 unde thte titles, "Industrislaven" and "World In Turmoil" respectively.

Following the release of "Industrislaven," Alriksson decided to leave the group and so Talarczyk took over the position of vocalist as Nasum continued as a duo. After releasing some more splits, Nasum signed with Relapse Records, the label best associated with grindcore in North America and released their debut full length, "Inhale/Exhale" in 1998. The record received a highly positive response from the extreme underground and included no less than thirty eight tracks on the forty five minute long release, as well as a striking front cover featuring a photograph of a wedding taken in Miyake-jima where all the attendees are wearing gas masks.

As their popularity and touring commitments grew, the band decided to recruit Jesper Liveröd of the progressive metal band Burst as their full time bass player after releasing a 7" vinyl covers record simply named, "Cover." Liveröd made his recording debut with Nasum on a split release with Warhate in 1999, before the trio recorded their sophomore full length, "Human 2.0," which hit the shelves in 2000. Like their debut, it received some solid reviews and praise from metal publications and listeners alike and saw their stature increase further, leading them to tour across the globe and perform in such countries as Japan for the first time.

The time taken up by touring meant that it would be another three years before Nasum released their third album, "Helvete," with two split releases being released in between the full lengths. Once more, Nasum received high praise for their work, with Terrorizer magazine going on to name "Helvete" as the second best European grindcore album in 2009. It was to be their final release with Liveröd, who quit the group following the record's release and so two of the songs on the album, "Drop Dead" and "Whip," featured Napalm Death's, Shane Embury performing bass instead of the Swede.

Liveröd was replaced by Jon Lindqvist on bass, while at the same time, Nasum decided to bring in another guitarist named Urban Skytt. The change in lineup saw the band record their only album as a quartet, "Shift," which was released in October 2004, only a year after their previous full length. Although the band toured in support of the release, including another stop over in Japan, promotion would not last long as at the end of the year, vocalist Mieszko Talarczyk decided to take a holiday to Thailand. While he was there, the continent of Asia was Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, which caused the death of somewhere between 230,000 and 280,000 people, including Talarczyk, who was only thirty years old.

The death of Talarczyk effectively ended Nasum, with a compilation record, "Grind Finale" in 2006, a two disc, hundred and fifty two track collection of material from all of the band's recordings. This was followed in 2008 with the group's only live album, "Doombringer," which was recorded at a 2004 show in Osaka, Japan. Although there will likely never be any more releases from Nasum, in 2011, the band reunited for a tour celebrating their twentieth anniversary, for which they recruited Keijo Niinimaa of Finnish grindcore band Rotten Sound to fill in for Talarczyk. The tour was received well and appears to be a fitting and respectable end to a band who have since become one of the best known names in European grindcore, and indeed the genre in general.

Nasum - "Inhale/Exhale"

Nasum - "Worldcraft"

Nasum - "Shadows"

Nasum - "A Welcomed Breeze Of Stinking Air"

Nasum - "Relics"

Nasum - "Scoop"

Nasum - "Wrath"

Nasum - "The Deepest Hole"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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