Beat down, tough guy, chug hardcore or whatever you want to call it used to hold a place in my heart. There was a point in my life where if you couldn’t smash someone to pieces in the pit, I didn’t care about it. I think in 2002, I even listed Shattered Realm’s Broken Ties, Spoken Lies as my favorite record of the year. Much like my short live nu-metal phase that I had in my early high school years, I quickly evolved passed the desire to hear as many open chord chugging as possible to more developed songs with many different parts as opposed to just mosh and pre-mosh. So needless to say, a band like Nasty, whom I only had the pleasure of hearing once when I saw them play live in Lansdale a year or two ago, wasn’t necessarily on my radar prior to this past week. When I saw their material pop up for a review request, I figured I’d give it a shot seeing that a ton of people, mostly my international friends, seem to be all about these boys from Belgium. With that being said, here’s what I thought about the band’s newest release, Shokka.

On the surface this is what I expected. It’s full to the brim of huge breakdowns that will slow down after two measures to make the chugs “harder” and it’s equally as full with rage filled, and at times hiphop like, vocals about society, shitty people, and other assorted topics that I can’t translate because it’s in German. However, what I was surprised to find is that, although there is a sense of urgency to get to the next mosh part, there are some rather interesting riffage going on between them that runs the gambit of influences. Songs like the title track, No, and Rebel With A Cause have some fast picking, near death metal parts that aren’t too far removed from a Morbid Angel track while on the flipside songs like Phonix, Irreversible, and the interlude show a slightly softer side with some of that melody Europeans love and could easily serve as a filler parts on a Caliban record. Laced throughout are more of your stereotypical beefed up traditional punk-hardcore power chords but with a distortion and tuning that keeps them heavier than the weights being lifted in the “Gym” skit. Nasty has an ability to use diversity from track to track but never really sway the course from their overall sound.

Nasty falls into the category of the new era beat down bands like New Jersey’s Lifeless and California’s World Of Pain that clearly have an agenda with punishing mosh fueled anthems but they are competent song writers in getting there, much unlike the uber popular Emmure and Acacia Strain who are nothing more than 45 minutes of chug per album. I’m not too familiar with the rest of the band’s catalog but Shokka is definitely a good record to get down to. If your moshing days are over, this will serve you well in slinging those heavy weights at the gym, bro.