Review: Nailbomb “Point Blank” [Roadrunner Records]

Review: Nailbomb “Point Blank” [Roadrunner Records]

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Score 70%
Earnest Godflesh-pultura record
70 %
User Rating : 0 (0 votes)

Max Cavalera and Alex Newport trade vocals and influences on an album that sounds somewhere between new Sepultura/early Soulfly and mid-period Godflesh. It’s basically a mix between the flavors of mid 90’s Brazilian and English metal, and it isn’t kind on the ears by any stretch of the imagination. The album is heavily tinted with industrial metal rawness and pure grinding aggression, with the dynamic roaring guitar tone of post-thrash and strong punk-metal/grind vibes on the uptempo accelerations, even sounding like overly aggressive rock n’ roll at times. The drums in particular are rather rock-oriented, heavy indie/industrial rock or punkish, providing a width to the tracks that one usually doesn’t find in bunches on a strictly metal album. The chained up rapid double kick assaults make an appearance here and there but are kept to a bare minimum.

Some of the tracks will sound mostly like outright Max Cavalera metal with simple chuggy grooves and the typical loud in-your-face shouting, while others introduce the more mechanical rhythmic energy of industrial. There’s a clear noise influence with heavy distorted samples in the background over the riffs or to start songs on relatively quieter yet still overdriven sonic motions setting that cold inhospitable atmosphere. The songs are a lot more experimental than what one might find on a Sepultura album, with odd delay or distortion effects on the lead vocals, fairly long stretches of instrumental noise over pounding rhythms among a host of various industrial-inspired arrangements.

The band intentionally use short formats for many of the songs (a few barely 3min long) to better accentuate the abrupt caustic nature of the music, although the later tracks on the album stretch towards 4-5min frames. The record is uneven and unpredictable that way and it isn’t sure what’ll come next at the end of a track. It really sounds like Cavalera and British partner in crime Newport had quite a bit of fun making this. There’s definitely a bit of a raw live recording feel to it at least on a few tracks and it feels like the cooperation between the two protagonists happened in an organic and seamless way. At no point does this album come across as pretentious or as the band having any form of pressure to perform, and the end result is a spontaneous mixture of initially heterogeneous styles colluding and producing a unique form of aggressive music that has “mid-90s” written all over it.

It isn’t gloriously conceived material or quite ground-breaking but it’s at least interesting for the neutral fan to discover, and in hindsight such records are rare, especially considering the formatted sound of modern bands today and it isn’t likely such a phenomenon will occur again.

Release date: March 8th, 1994

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