Review Summary: An aggressive portrait of two band's respective capabilities.
I must admit, I might be rather new to the powerviolence scene, but I'm loving every minute of the cacophony that comprises the genre. In this case, the past four and a half minutes have been immersed in the new Nails/Full of Hell split EP that doesn't stop for anything. I discovered Full of Hell through their split with Code Orange a few years ago, which I absolutely loved at the time. Now, with this new split combining two of the best powerviolence groups currently out there, we find a strong and relentless collaboration that isn't altogether dissimilar from recent efforts, but isn't exactly the goal, either.
Nails begin the split with the only song on their half, “No Longer Under Your Control,” a bristling and fistful of fury opener that insists upon the extrinsic influence of others pushing you down, while the Full of Hell side of the split offers the polarity: the intrinsic battles of one's primordial violent behaviors. Perhaps the aspects this EP resounds so well with are harbored in the bands' dynamics between each other. Nails and Full of Hell might be very similar on the surface, but where Nails drives in their hard-hitting hardcore/powerviolence/D-beat influence, Full of Hell takes the wheel in their own brand of gnarly grindcore, death metal, and sludge. The lyrics ricochet off both band's contributions almost effortlessly and without the friction of two wholly different approaches to the songwriting. Both bands are totally themselves while matching each other's signature sound in their own way, developing a fast, yet cohesive little record.
That being said, I found myself enjoying Full of Hell's side of the split more so than Nails’, not just for the odd ratio of one Nails songs to Full of Hell's two, but for the technicality that the latter professed in. Full of Hell supported most of the variety in the short four minutes of the split, exerting raging riffs and a swirl of vocals (from death growls to sharpened shrieks), as compared to Nails, who, well, were basically just being Nails. Maybe this split captures what each band's core noise without suggesting any new directions.
For me, this split EP is fun while it lasts, which isn't very long. I wish I could have heard more comfortable Nails, because they seemed a bit lacking on this record. Albeit powerviolence garners the wont of incredibly short releases, I'd almost rather stick to the band's individual albums to fully recognize their potential and overall sound. These are two great bands I wouldn't hesitate to go see live, and hope to also listen to their various counterparts as well.