It wasn’t too long ago that I stayed very far away from anything D-beat related. Hell, even my personal catalog of grind was limited to Napalm Death, Misery Index, and Lock Up. Recently though as I find myself calming down and becoming more of an adult in my personal life, when it comes to music I’m finding myself in search of the more aggressive, angry music. Southern California’s Nails and their debut full length, Unsilent Death, has been a staple part of my diet to feed this hunger for destructive noise. Although that album is 10 tracks, it clocks in at like 32 seconds and since discovering it, I’ve wanted more. Finally I’ve gotten my seconds in the form of Abandon All Life.

If I could review albums with just one word, I’d give Nails’ new record a simple “relentless”. If music could perform physical violence, this would be the equivalent of getting shot point blank in the face with an RPG at the rate of a fully automatic assault rifle. Blistering through the core of their material, Nails has perfected the art of blending crusty hardcore, grind, and power violence like very few bands, if any, can handle. Even when they slow it down to a more Entombed meets sludge style breakdown, the material borderlines absurd in terms of heavy. Couple that with a muddy guitar and bass tone and you have yourself quite the concoction to make you feel like you’ve injected meth into the vein of your forehead.

As good as Unsilent Death was, Abandon All Life is that record on steroids. Everything about this record is better. The song writing is more thought out and every song isn’t just 50 seconds of pure, unadulterated anger. While the aggression is still there it’s controlled for a little longer on most songs this time out. There is also the very beefed up production that can be completely attributed to the band working with Kurt Ballou for this outing. Ballou just seems to have a knack for handling this type of hardcore/metal fusion. Ballou was able to maintain the muddy distortion that is signature to Nails overall sound but was able to separate the elements enough so that it doesn’t sound like just a wall of static noise. Everything sounds thicker and louder. There is some serious power here.

Every now and then you come across an album that just leaves you saying “Holy Shit” right out of the starting block and then proceeds to leave your jaw on the floor for the remainder of its playing time. Nails’ Abandon All Life is one of those albums. As soon as it kicked in, I was floored and I continued to feel that way after each track. A symphony of blissful devastation that can’t come more highly recommended to people who like their music to have some balls. Pick up this record now and proceed with caution.