Now, let me ask you a question. How many bands can you name that have been together since 1987? Okay, you probably have some names floating around in your head, but I have a follow up question. How many of those bands you are thinking about have released a combined total of over 100 EPs, demos, split albums and compilations, along with three full length albums? Other than Japan’s Sabbat, only one band comes to mind for me, and that is the Cleveland, Ohio based devil metal band Nunslaughter.
“Angelic Dread” is Nunslaughter’s fourth album, the first one in seven years. The great news is that it is a double album. The first album consists of fifteen brand spanking new tracks, while the second album is sixteen re-recorded tracks from their various earlier releases.
First off, let me tell you what is not on “Angelic Dread.” You will find no lengthy instrumental passages, no flowing guitar solos that take up the majority of the song, no psychotic drums trying to break the sound barrier, and no emotional Broadway style vocals. Most of the time I love listening to those, but sometimes I have to switch it up and go back to the basics.
What does Nunslaughter deliver? Over seventy minutes of stripped back, cantankerous old school death metal mixed in with a pinch of punk and grindcore to run your ass over. All of the songs are a short explosion of energy with the focal point centered on clobbering your eardrums. There are memorable filthy riffs from guitarist and bassist Zack Massacre on such songs as ‘Blood Drinker,’ ‘Coffin and Crosses’ and ‘Death Beyond the Gallows,’ and solid drumming from Jim Sadist on ‘One Bad Bitch,’ ‘Phantom,’ and ‘Twisted Spirit,’ to name a few. These are topped off by vocalist Don of the Dead‘s gravel rumbling vocal attack that ultimately creates quite a head banging experience.
It’s easy to guess the two lyrical themes that dominate “Angelic Dread:” horror, and anti-Christian. Song titles such as ‘The Lycanthrope’ (with sounds of wolves howling in the night), ‘The Bog People,’ ‘In the Graveyard,’ ‘Three Nails,One Liar,’ ‘God Has Lied,’ and ‘Sickened by the Sight of Christ’ (with sounds of a guy puking his guts out throughout the song) should put a smile on the face of fans of both genres.
So in closing, if you’re looking for a band that doesn’t care about trends, fads or gimmicks, you’ve found it, because Nunslaughter has been serving up devil metal for twenty-seven years. And if you crave an album that can inflict traditional, in-your-face raw death metal, then run, don’t walk, to seek this album out. Because as the saying goes, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”