Review Summary: Nails has avoided the "sophomore slump", and given us 10 solid and chaotic tracks.1 of 2 thought this review was well written
California hardcore punk/powerviolence act Nails' greatest weapon has always been their ability to create pure sonic chaos. They realize that, and take full advatage of it. Many bands in the growingly stale genre of hardcore punk do nothing to push the paradigms of the genre, and Nails are no different. However, they are unique in that they take influence from different genres, such as death metal, grindcore, powerviolence, and hardcore punk, and combine them into the machine that is their music.
The overarching themes of this album both lyrically and musically are hatred and discord. I try to avoid using the word "brutal" to describe music in a serious manner, but thats exactly what this album is. It is an unrelentingly vicious assault on the ears. On first listen, the songs on Abandon All Life sound like a frenzy of random noise, but after a few listens it becomes very apparent that the band knows exactly what they are doing. These songs were carefully calculated and structured to further the charging flow of the album, and to completely floor the listener. They certainly succeed in that respect.
When listening to this album, you are in Nails' world; and you are playing by their rules. The breakneck pace of Abandon All Life is unsettling, and it is rather impressive that they can keep the speed going strong while maintaining some technicality and making sure the record is still entertaining. Every song increases in pressure and ferocity until the album culminates on the last song (a rare thing these days), Suum Cuique. The aforementioned track is a banger that leave you breathless. It is a good ending to the album, and a damn good climax.
While there is very little innovation on this album, Nails have succeeded in making an entertaining album that improves upon the formula they laid out with their first EP, Obscene Humanity. Nails have certainly proved that they are a force to be reckoned with.