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Nail Within
March 2003
Released: 2003, Listenable
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: EvilG

From Israel comes a new band, Nail Within. They play raw yet melodic death metal with a good dose of thrash metal thrown in. The band’s members are not at all new to the scene though. Nail Within was formed from the ashes of the death metal band BETRAYER (1992-2001) and the black metal band AZAZEL (1995-2001). Yishai Swearts (vocalist of BETRAYER) joined forces with Alex Schuster, Evil Haim and Miko (guitar, bass, and drums in AZAZEL), and Nail Within was born. Rounding out the line-up is guitarist Matan Cohen (guitarist for BETZEFER). Before the recording of this album, drummer Miko left the band so the drummer on this album is SALEM's Nir Nakav. Nail Within hired well-known producer Harris Johns to record their debut album. Thrash freaks will recognize Harris Johns from his reputation as a producer during the 80's for Kreator's PLEASURE TO KILL, Sodom's AGENT ORANGE, VoiVod's DIMENSION HATROS, and his work with other bands like Helloween and Celtic Frost.

Nail Within open the album with a song whose title was for a very short period basically the name of the band (Emblaze was the band name…if memory serves!?). The track is “Emblazed.” Vocalist Yishai Swearts sounds like a dead ringer for Mille Petrozza on this one, this is aided by the track having somewhat of an old school Kreator vibe. Up next is “Inhuman Conditions” with more of a death metal feel. Some guitar harmony parts that I liked show up in this one. After that we come to the album’s attention grabber, “Dirty Coloured Knife”. This was the only track I was really familiar with from the band prior to this full length CD. There is some catchy riffing on this one and it has more of an At The Gates feel. This is the track with some shared vocals from none other than Mille Petrozza (KREATOR), Tomas Lindberg (ex-AT THE GATES, THE GREAT DECEIVER) and Zeev Tananboim (SALEM). You can tell the vocalists apart easy enough, but it’s also clear how much Nail Within vocalist Yishai is a mixture of their two voices. Germanic thrash freaks will also be pleasantly surprised by the fact that there is another guest appearance on the track entitled “Bleed Forever”. Roberto Gonnele from legendary German thrash band ASSASSIN does backing vocals on this one. The thing is you’ll have to listen VERY closely for him since his vocals blend in just about seamlessly. Some other songs stood out for me on the album including “Mental Coffin” which represents the first time that I really noticed the lead guitar. Why there are not more solos like this on the album I do not know, but more lead playing is needed on here to appease my tastes for sure. “My Wallow” is perhaps my favorite track for it’s technical Slayer-like riffing that grabbed my attention right from the first time I played the album. This once again has a nice solo, but it’s too short! The song ends kind of abruptly, almost like the recording was cut off while the song was meant to play one…weird. “King Obscenity” has a section where the music drops in intensity for a moment with clean guitar and clean vocals. I am assuming the clean vocals are by the listed guest for this song – producer Harris Johns. It’s clear why he’s known as a producer and not a vocalist as the clean vocals lines are pretty bad. This song though is a good one since it’s not all out speed and has some different ideas going on. The album ends with one of the strongest tracks, the fittingly titled track “Last Nail”. The thrashy triplets on the song’s main riffs with the crashing drums symbols accentuating each triplet is done great! The song slowly fades out during this section and I didn’t want it to end…I could of taken a few more mins of those magnificent riffs. Although that is the last track on the CD, if you have a PC (and you must if you’re reading this) then you’ll have to pop the CD into the CD-ROM for a video for the albums hit single (ha!) “Dirty Coloured Knife”. The video is wacked! There is some footage of Mille and Tomas in the studio singing their parts but it’s the “white walled room” sections which are weird in a S&M/fetish sort of way without becoming X-rated.

Nail Within may not win over new fans to thrash metal, bust if you already count yourself as a fan of At The Gates and Kreator then I recommend you give Nail Within a listen.
Track Listing

01. Emblazed
02. Inhuman Conditions
03. Dirty - Colored - Knife (with Mille Petrozza, Tomas Lindberg and Zeev Tananboim)
04. Bleed Forever (with Robert Gonnela)
05. Under The Spell (with Tomas Lindberg)
06. Elastic
07. Mental Coffin
08. My Wallow
09. King Obscenity (with Harris Johns)
10. Impure
11. Last Nail


Yishai Swearts - vocals
Alex Schuster - guitars
Evil Haim – bass
Matan Cohen – guitars
Nir Nakav – drums

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by EvilG

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