Nails You Will Never Be One of Us
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01. You Will Never Be One of Us
02. Friend to All
03. Made to Make You Fall
04. Life Is a Death Sentence
05. Violence Is Forever
06. Savage Intolerance
07. In Pain
09. Into Quietus
10. They Come Crawling Back
As a bunch of hardcore veterans playing grinding metal, Nails has always had the potential to be slightly too hardcore for metal fans, and too fast and metallic for their hardcore brethren. Instead, they consistently seem to walk between two worlds, seamlessly co-existing in often antagonistic scenes while garnering widespread respect and accolades. While this may seem odd to those unfamiliar with the band, for those who have heard their previous LPs it's not hard to understand exactly why Nails is able to command respect from such a diverse listening population. Impressively, their newest offering, You Will Never Be One of Us, is probably their best work to date.
Starting off with the title track, this record wastes no time delivering one of the album's best songs. After an ominously repetitive intro, "You Will Never Be One of Us" breaks in and immediately delivers bludgeoning riffs and machine-gun drumming that still manage to retain the dynamic elements necessary to make the song both interesting and impactful. Following this strong start, "Friend to All" and "Made to Make You Fall" are even faster and shorter, expertly interspersing blast beats, solitary bass lines, and rapid-fire riffs that maintain the momentum of the song throughout. In addition, "Made to Make You Fall" (as well as the later track "In Pain") have brief, albeit impressive solos, that would make any Slayer fan take notice.
Another album highlight is "Life Is a Death Sentence," where the group's hardcore pedigree begins to shine through. After a grind-inspired start to the song, the remainder of the track shows off singer/guitarist Todd Jones' ability to still write memorable, chugging hardcore riffs with the best of them. Following this, "Violence Is Forever" allows the group to delve into more elaborate song writing. As one of only two songs on the album to clock in at over two minutes, this track is a balance of mid-tempo verses (at least by Nails' standards) and slower, trudging breakdowns that gives the album a well-placed break from the relentless speed of its earlier tracks.
"Savage Intolerance," "In Pain," and "Parasite" continue to demonstrate the band's exceptional ability to deliver a series of unceasing barrages without having the songs bleed together into an indistinguishable and monotonous mess. Each track has enough distinct qualities to differentiate itself from the others, while still maintaining the overall stylistic and sonic consistency of the album.
Similar to "Depths" on Unsilent Death and "Suum Cuique" on Abandon All Life, You Will Never Be One of Us saves the longest and most dynamic track for the end. "They Come Crawling Back" strikes a menacing mood via an intro filled with dissonant tones before building momentum with galloping drums and churning riffs, and eventually fading with the hypnotic repetition of plodding, layered guitar lines.
Bottom Line: Not only is this arguably Nails' best album to date, it is also one of the year's best thus far. Metal and hardcore fans alike should be adding this record to their rotation posthaste.
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