Top 20 of 2013, Number 20: Nails – Abandon All Life

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Released: March       Genre: Grindcore       Metacritic Rating: 82%

It seemed fitting to kick off my top twenty albums of the year with one of the heaviest I’ve heard in 2013. I compared my list this year to last years and there’s much less heavy music and it’s down to my taste changing, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Abandon All Life is one of the best heavy albums I’ve heard over the last few years. At only 17 minutes short it’s a crushing barrage of noise that doesn’t relent for a second. Nails pummel you into the ground by the time opener ‘In Exodus’ finishes and spend the next nine tracks only making the hole deeper. This is metal music done immaculately, from the savage ‘Gods Cold Hands’ to the closing lengthy masterpiece of  ‘Suum Cuique’. Despite being brief the tracks are complex, borrowing from a number of styles and genres to make for moments that are equally enthralling as they are heavy. Throw in some aggressive lyrics (‘Blind fucking pig / You can’t see / Ignorant / I watch you bleed’) to top it all off and you have an album unlike anything else I’ve heard in 2013. I decided to pick it up back in May, before stumbling upon ‘Unsilent Death’ and ‘Obscene Humanity’ in a record store in Amsterdam when I was there on holiday. Considering I bought it six months ago it’s one of the albums I’ve consistently listened to week in week out, and for good reason. Despite being short Abandon All Life is absolutely huge, and serves up a meaty chunk of brutality that’s nothing short of exhilarating throughout.

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