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Nails - "Unsilent Death" (CD)

Nails - "Unsilent Death" CD cover image

"Unsilent Death" track listing:

1. Conform (0:32)
2. Scum Will Rise (1:04)
3. Your God (0:33)
4. Suffering Soul (1:30)
5. Unsilent Death (2:41)
6. Traitor (0:28)
7. I Will Not Follow (1:26)
8. No Servant (0:59)
9. Scapegoat (0:55)
10. Depths (3:49)

Reviewed by on April 30, 2010

"This isn’t the type of album that will sit proudly in its own little section of Best Buy; no, this is an album so venomous that any retailer would shit themselves at the very thought of Nails out on display."

The only possible way to describe the breathless brutality of Nails’ “Unsilent Death” is by giving a visual example. Imagine a horrific car accident, with metal and glass strewn everywhere, and bodies lying on the pavement. Now imagine a train coming through and crashing into the pile-up. Now imagine that train blowing up and toppling a near-by building. Now imagine that building falling onto a school bus full of children. Squeeze that mayhem and panic into fifteen minutes on a plastic disc and that, ladies and gentlemen, is “Unsilent Death.”

It’s hard to describe the ten tracks without mentioning the token words “brutal” and “intense” at the end of every sentence. Those two words get thrown out a lot, especially from this reviewer, but there is really no other way to properly label the album. The band’s sound is reminiscent of early 90s grind/hardcore ala Napalm Death, complete with the grimy production and the no-bullshit attitude towards songwriting. Half of the tracks clock in under a minute, leaving little room for progression or anything resembling melody.

These shorter tracks are prime slices of grade-A grind. “Conform” and “Your God” mock the mindless sheep of society which follow rules without question, a basis of much of the lyrical content on “Unsilent Death.” The music might be angry, but the lyrics are outright vicious in their attack on everything from religion to personal relationships. The wicked guitar solo on “No Servant” show the band has some musical prowess that stretches beyond static riffs and simplistic breakdowns.

Speaking of breakdowns, the longer tracks are driven by heavy chugging that never fails to get the head bobbing up and down uncontrollably. “Depths” starts off slow, but picks up speed and leads into an extended conclusion featuring screeching guitars and an arduous pace. The title track and “I Will Not Follow” garner momentum from the hard-hitting breakdowns that each feature one superb riff that sounds like it was taken from the playbook of early death metal.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, “Unsilent Death” clocks in at less than fifteen minutes long. If there was one fault about the record, this would be it. It feels like the band could have thrown a few more tracks on here, especially since this is a full-length album and not an EP. It’s not that “Unsilent Death” feels unfinished, but the band hits their peak right near the end. In a sense, though, the quick running time is also a benefit, as the listener is worn out by the time the last piercing note of “Depths” has faded. For a relatively new band, they have the old saying “quality not quantity” down pat.

Seemingly coming out of nowhere, “Unsilent Death” is a fantastic sophomore album from Nails that should provide them with some inclusion alongside some of the best up-and-coming bands in the hardcore scene. This isn’t the type of album that will sit proudly in its own little section of Best Buy; no, this is an album so venomous that any retailer would shit themselves at the very thought of Nails out on display. “Unsilent Death” will please those that grew up on grind/hardcore and snap some sense into the young ones who think that hardcore music begins and ends with Hatebreed.

Highs: Some of the most brutal music heard in a long time, production/sound is a throwback to early 90s grind/hardcore, vicious breakdowns.

Lows: Criminally short for a full-length album.

Bottom line: A fantastic hardcore/grind album that delivers an intense listen from start to finish.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)