Nails - “You Will Never Be One Of Us”
Buy on iTunes or through Nuclear Blast
What hasn’t been said about Nails? One of the most aggressive bands in the industry? Their music has not just oozed violence since their debut, but thrown itself in your face and assaulted you with unrelenting force. The legendary three-piece is back with their third album You Will Never Be One Of Us, once again produced by Converge’s very own Kurt Ballou.
The title track opens the album with screeching guitars growing ever louder, backed by a very simple audio sample: “You will never be one of us.” Upon reaching the peak, we are greeted with band charging like the front line cavalry, Todd Jones barking over disorienting chaos, bringing the hate and spitting filth. In true Nails fashion, if your attention wanders for a second, you may find yourself three songs deeper than you remember. The blistering pace of the record keeps the energy high and the subject matter fresh at every turn. It takes until the fourth track, “Violence Is Forever,” for a song to break two minutes. We finally get a breakdown, and my God is it heavy. The band keeps their foot on the gas ’til this point, and the contrasting pace at this moment makes each instrument hit like a bag of bricks.
From “Savage Intolerance” through “Into Quietus,” the album gets lost in a blur, mainly due to a lack of stand out, heavy-hitting lyrics. But the quality of these tracks doesn’t fall far with the the monstrous shredding solo on “In Pain” and the throat tearing vocals of “Parasite.” As the album reaches the final track, an unsuspecting listener may expect the album end to any moment, but like any other Nails album, the longest song is always saved for last. With the incredibly distorted guitar playing a slow and brooding chord progression, it's later joined by a second, wailing melody. “They Come Crawling Back” is the closest Nails have and maybe ever will come to black metal. The slow, punchy pace is kept as Jones delivers one of the most disgusting vocal performances on the album. Everything is thrown into a whirlwind halfway into this eight minute track, with the drums shifting speeds yet the guitar melody keeping steady. We get pulled out as the two come together again to give us the breakdown. For the final five minutes, guitars and drums chug and hit along with more screeching guitars and interjections of feedback. As the song finally comes to a close, a simple beat and chord progressions fade us out. It seems rather out of place on a Nails song, and certainly as the end of the album.
Nails deliver yet another reason for their reputation as one of the heaviest bands around. You Will Never Be One Of Us is the most aggressive effort of the year and anyone who skips this is seriously missing out.