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Nunslaughter – Angelic Dread


 

Nunslaughter are one of those bands who you can safely say have been overrated since their formation way back in 1987. Despite arguably creating death metal’s first baby steps alongside the likes of Death and Morbid Angel, they don’t tend to be the first band who springs to mind when one asks about the foundation of extreme metal. Unsurprisingly enough then, it has taken a fairly long time for the band’s latest album, “Angelic Dread” to be finally released in 2014- a year which comfortably sees many veteran death metal acts rising from the pits, so to speak.

“Angelic Dread” may come as a shock when you realize that it’s made up of a gargantuan total of 31 songs and which collaborate to a running time of just over an hour, but then it’s less surprising when the majority of songs very rarely exceed the two minute mark. The threatening pace and visceral, raw instrumental energy manifests crust punk, death metal and sometimes doom to create one of the most gritty, rusty extreme metal sounds of 2014. Put simply, it’s like the late 80s never died. And at the risk of sounding incredibly outdated, as many an extreme metal listener will probably mention, every single song on “Angelic Dread” is in your face in the most brutal way possible. You only have to listen to the sickening atmosphere of the title track and look at that foreboding album cover to understand just why Nunslaughter are so infamous these days.

The songs very rarely change from the well-rehearsed musical formula which has plagued most of Nunslaughter’s discography, but then that serves as both an advantage and disadvantage. Whilst repetition rears its ugly head more so in the last half of the album than the first half, you can still take the time to indulge in those crushing, menacing riffs and brain-battering drum rhythms. The bass isn’t too audible for the most part, but it’s definitely at its best when it contributed to a blackened, maniacal rhythm section, making songs like ‘Looking into the Abyss’ and ‘Crush the Guff’ all the more chaotic. The inhuman vocals and banshee screams found within ‘The Lycanthrope’ and ‘In the Graveyard’ charge the hellish, demonic soul through every unwilling listener and its almost as if Hell has already been unleashed without anyone realizing. Yes, the instrumental performance here is quite wicked.

What doesn’t work so effectively however is the shortest songs, which unfortunately feel filler-based and thus lead you to expect more of a complex structure, if only a little bit. Repetition here is more of a disadvantage towards the end of the album, as the musicianship seems somewhat tired despite the still crushing heaviness and crusty production being kept at a consistent rate. That’s essentially what stops “Angelic Dread” from being any more impressionable than it should have been originally, and whether or not it’s because 31 songs is just too much, Nunslaughter have still proved they’re capable of producing visceral music 27 years after their formation.

 

3.8/5

 

1. Angelic Dread

2. Looking into the Abyss

3. Twisted Spirit

4. Crush the Guff

5. Inner Beast

6. The Lycanthrope

7. Blood Drinker

8. God

9. Doomtown

10. Don’t Mourn for Me

11. Infested

12. Coffins and Crosses

13. Three Nails, One Liar

14. One bad Bitch

15. Death beyond the Gallows

16. Emperor in Hell

17. God has lied

18. The Bog People

19. Midnight Mass

20. Shadow World

21. Healing the Possessed

22. In the graveyard

23. Ouija

24. It is I

25. Atheist Ways

26. Phantom

27. Sickened by the Sight of Christ

28. Black Horn of the Ram

29. Driving out the Demons

30. Deathlehem

31. Cerebus

Bandpage: http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/nunslaughter-news.asp

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NunSlaughter

 

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