When this week started, I was pretty much ready to end these seven days before they began. Just one of those stretches where tons of little shit goes wrong, and no matter what you do, the whole thing just keeps getting compounded. So the only answer is to go back to sleep for the rest of the week.
But things don’t work that way, and there are plenty of things to accomplish at my job and here on the site, so we must carry on. Seeing that is the case, some volcanic music to perfectly compliment my frustration and anger is the perfect solution, and the two bands we’ll visit with today managed to be just what I needed. There’s something to living vicariously through the music you hear and bands you follow, and in the case of both Nails and Seven Sisters of Sleep, I was able to channel their aggression and musical tumult and soothe my own frayed nerves and impatience. After all, as frustrated as you might be, there’s always someone out there who feels even worse. So remember that poor jerk.
Grouping these two bands together makes sense not only for their metallic hardcore sounds, but because both were label mates at one point in time. Nails was picked up by Southern Lord after their “Unsilent Death,” originally released by Six Feet Under, was pulled into the fold, and their chaotic emanations have been a strong point for the label ever since. As for Seven Sisters of Sleep, Southern Lord released their self-titled album in an enhanced version for their underground sounds series, and it was a real eye-opener hearing this band and record, that contained some of the freshest, most urgent hardcore-laced sounds in some time. But the band remains with A389 for their latest album “Opium Morals,” that finds them as savage and as necessary as ever.
We’ll start with Nails, the California-based band whose new record “Abandon All Life” is practically two times longer than “Unsilent Death.” Then again, that just means the record is 17 minutes long as opposed to 11, but that certainly doesn’t mean this thing is bloated. I mean, how could it be? It’s 17 minutes long. But it’s a ferocious, pulverizing display that’ll prove to you from the moment the thing blasts into your eardrums that they’re a band that’s here for blood and won’t stop until they’re satisfied.
It’s hard to get too into detail about a record this short because it’s pretty much over before you know it. The band’s penchant for speedy, power-violence-friendly hardcore makes them one of the most blistering bands in the world. In the world! From devastating opener “In Exodus” to fiery, ridiculously furious “Absolute Control” to the frenzied thrash of “God’s Cold Hands” to ultra-punishing “No Surrender,” there is so much here to keep you bruised and nauseously bloody. But there are some change-ups here as well, such as doomy, mega-heavy, and slurry “Wide Open Wound,” that shows the band has a knack for doom; and the black metal-influenced closer “Suun Cuique” that’s epic, dark, and at 5:22, one of their longest songs to date.
“Abandon All Life” certainly improves on “Unsilent Death,” a record that didn’t really require any improvement, but that didn’t stop Nail from taking things to a different level. Their live shows are bound to be insane, and these songs should make those performances all that more volcanic.
For more on Nails, go here: http://www.streetcleanerrecords.com/unsilentdeath/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/store.php?dept=MCH
For more on the label, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/
Seven Sisters of Sleep are the spookier of the two bands, and the visual representation on their site and through social media indicates hardcore fury through ritual and weirdness. It’s pretty fascinating stuff, and their choice of artwork for their records is always ideal for catching your eye and translating to merch. But when you get beyond all of that, they’re just a damn efficient unit, a group that plugs in and pummels you in their punishing haze. Their motto is “tune low, get high,” and that sentiment is ever present in their music, as it feels hellishly evil but also druggedly woozy.
SSoS’s new record runs 10 tracks and 33 minutes, and it’s even better than their self-titled record that turned me onto the band. “Ghost Plains” sets the tone with its mucky melodies, monstrous growls, and utter fury that carries into other fireballs such as “Moths,” a surge of storming that bursts from under a black cloud; “Grindstone,” which is straight-ahead grind fury; “Sunday Mass Grave,” a song that has drums that near blast territory and eventually dissolve into sludge and mud; “Reaper Christ,” a devastating, doom-drenched song that reminds me a bit of High on Fire, as least as far as guitar work is concerned; “Recitation Fire,” that has an interesting punk melody and is as accessible as they get; and closer “Part 2,” which erupts out of feedback and noise and ends with anguished wails and chaos.
Seven Sisters of Sleep are one of the more impressive underground bands combining hardcore, metal, and doom, and of these two records, it’s the one I like the most. Their style works whether you want to get smoked or if you feel like smoking up, and this record could be one that breaks them out to a bigger, hungrier audience.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.sevensistersofsleep.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.a389records.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.a389records.com/site/