Saturday, January 28, 2012

Old - Down With The Nails [2006]

Old are a killer four-piece black/thrash act hailing from Germany. Germany is known mainly for being the country of origin of the three kings of the Teutonic thrash scene: Sodom, Kreator, and Destruction; all of which have (or had) a distinct style of evil, dirty sounding thrash metal. Then there’s other names such as Old who follow suit but take it to the next level. These German bastards have been at it since ‘03, bombarding us with filthy black/thrash. Unfortunately they are currently on hold, but they’ve left us with this hidden gem to keep us satisfied.

“Down With The Nails” begins with a slight doomy edge. “Black Jewel Throne” kicks off the album with an assault of catchy, mid-paced riffs that’ll certainly keep your head nodding along. Some may be slightly turned off by its slow tempo, but this is probably the slowest song in the entire album. In addition to its catchy d-beat chorus, it has some pretty cool lead work following after; a thing that’s rather scarce in this style of metal. After “Black Jewel Throne” comes a furor of different styled riffs, slightly akin to monsters such as Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, at times Aura Noir and Darkthrone.

Now, this is not the average black/thrash album. There isn’t much use of all-out black metal riffs and you probably won’t hear all-out thrash riffs either. What I especially like about this record is that it has tons of riffs spread throughout that bring to mind an undeniable speed metal influence. An example of this is in the intro to “Blood Skull,” or the one on “Down With The Nails.” These catchy riffs are simple but will tear you in and rip you apart, mixing within them a black metal influence as well; the end result being totally sick. Another worthy mention is the break in “Down With The Nails,” where the bass plays alone and is subsequently followed by a vehement speed metal attack.

The drums are fairly straightforward, varying from d-beats to slower mosh-styled ones and the occasional double-bass work. There isn’t that much variety, but there certainly is no need for it. To my recollection, there isn't one single blast beat on the entire record--which, in this case, is definitely a pro in my opinion. The guitars are terrific, and the crunchy, filthy guitar tone is awesome, suiting Old’s brand of black/thrash perfectly. The vocals are your typical black metal ones, save for the intermittent howl that’ll make your spine crawl.

I don’t think I can say much else about this album. It has its many merits: doom, speed, black, thrash riffs; a very cool mixture. A must for any fan of old school black, thrash or speed metal alike. Definitely check this one out, it won’t disappoint.



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