Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us (Nuclear Blast)

Genre: Extreme Metal/Hardcore

Grindcore, hardcore – however you label them, there’s no denying Nails’ immense impact on extreme music since their 2010 debut, Unsilent Death, burst onto the scene. Its follow-up, Abandon All Life, was one of the finest lessons in violence of the 21st century, a wrecking ball of unbridled rage that levelled mountains and set the world aflame.

You Will Never Be One Of Us, therefore, has a lot to live up to – and while not quite reaching the giddy heights of its predecessor, it offers no respite, no hiding place… just total sonic annihilation.

The standard is set on the title track, which opens the album with a firestorm of blastbeats and raw, primal riffs. The way the song is hellbent on total destruction gives it an almost cathartic quality –  and it also demonstrates Nails’ astounding ability to switch pace at just the right moment. Twisting between blastbeats and pummelling, brutal grooves, it delivers blow after knockout blow.

Made To Make You Fall is similarly explosive, not even reaching 60 seconds before the caustic grindcore assault of Life Is A Death Sentence is then unleashed and you are sent spinning to the floor.

Most of the material here doesn’t even reach the two minute mark, but the Californians make every second count.  And when they do spread out a little, there’s a point behind it: They Come Crawling Back, the album’s lengthy closer, is more of a death cry than a song, its monstrous sludge riffs dragging you deep into the mire (although by that stage, you’ll be ready for a rest).

So one of the heaviest, most devastating bands on the planet have nailed it once again… no surprise, really.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Hard As Nails