Angelic Dread

Written by: EW on 10/06/2014 23:53:24

Habitual denizens of the most underground of ethos it always comes as a mild surprise to see a new Nunslaughter LP reach the market, with “Angelic Dread” representing just their fourth in a 27-year history. Of course their fanbase will know of the Cleveland residents’ incessant releasing of limited edition splits, lives and EPs (just the 127 and counting), a collection from which 16 recent tracks constitute disc 2 of this double set after the preceding 15 tracks of new material on the first make for a bumper edition of down n’ dirty unholy death metal.

To expect a significant change in their style since 2003’s “Goat”, the other release of theirs with which I am most acquainted, would be akin to the band professing a love for all things holy - Nunslaughter are a band for the underground and akin to acts like Warhammer and Toxic Holocaust who unapologetically exist to reflect an unpolished, unprogressive sound for the sheer love of it all. This does create a glass ceiling for how far Nunslaughter can go with each release with a mindset so geared towards short sharp bursts of diabolical ‘devil metal’ - the 15 tracks of the main disc occupy just 36 minutes, with each shuffling along contributing a minimum amount of deviation before it is the turn of the next. This tactic of short punchy songs on the one hand makes the album as easily digestible (for an old school death metal fan, of course) as a cold beer on a hot day but on the other all too often I feel a track has been terminated before being given any chance of distinguishing itself in any form. Alas, I guess that is the side-effect of an output as intensive as Nunslaughter’s who leave little time to hone and refine each track, instead relying on the rough n’ ready nature of their very existence, a tactic that has certainly done no harm for their underground kudos down the years.

What this does mean is stronger riffs like those found in “Blood Drinker”, “Doomtown” and “Three Nails, One Liar” are not given enough chance to embed themselves before being washed away for the next track in line although on the other hand, the plethora of standard deathly chord-sequence riffing moves along so quickly that one doesn’t have time to consider their originality. Sonically the band are the embodiment of the no-frills side of the underground with an organic drum sound, a grizzled guitar tone and bubbling bass brewing beneath the gurgling vocal attack of Don of the Dead, facets that bare strong resemblance to recent Autopsy work but without the disturbing bent of their Californian cousins.

The 15 tracks on disc 2, culled from various 7”’s are the same sort of motley crew of short and blasphemous albeit with the slight loss in consistency that would be expected of such a compilation. What it does result in is 31 tracks of audial disturbance courtesy of one metal’s true underground warriors, a band for whom ‘quit’ is an unknown concept and that alone deserves some respect.


Download: Blood Drinker, Three Nails, One Liar
For The Fans Of: Autopsy, Deceased, Unleashed
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.06.2014
Hells Headbangers Records

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