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Down With The Nails
September 2006
Released: 2006, Tyrant Syndicate/Peaceville Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Germany’s Old have clearly studied their early Sodom/Celtic Frost/Hellhammer/Darkthrone material. On their debut, DOWN WITH THE NAILS, the similarities are uncanny—buzzsaw riffs, tortured, growled vocals (complete with plenty of Tom G. Warrior’s trademark “ooh!” thrown about), lo-fi production and simplistic song structures based on old black and thrash metal are everywhere. Darkthrone’s Fenriz and Nocturno Culto gave Old their stamp of approval by signing the band to their Peaceville-imprint, Tyrant Syndicate Productions, and their own Celtic Frost-influenced blackened thrash/punk surely drew their attention to Old. The band members took the same approach to their stage names as Warrior, Tom Angelripper and Fenriz and the leather, steel skulls and pentagrams the band adorns in the booklet’s photos instill the fact that DOWN WITH THE NAILS is nothing more than nine bursts of old-school metal done in 2006 and while the band’s level of seriousness is dubious, they certainly know how to play the part without bringing a single new thing to the table.

Reaper’s grizzled growl and the guitar work of Doomhammer and Baron enrapture DOWN WITH THE NAILS in all its retro glory. The press sheet reads “no swirling majestic keyboards and over-polished production here” and that is no lie. The album was recorded in three days and it shows. Darkthrone fans will revel in the similarities to tracks like “Black Jewel Throne,” a punk-laced sting of blackened thrash. Baron’s riffs cut like a razor over Reaper’s vocals and the drums of session skinsman, Mersus, are direct knock-offs of the Fenriz/Nocturno Culto battery. The MORBID TALES-era Celtic Frost influence is felt on “Blood Skull” as Reaper does his best Tom G. Warrior vocal impression and the skin bashing and guitar tone hearken back to the less experimental beginnings of the Swiss metallers (think “Into The Crypts of Rays” and “Circle of The Tyrants”). “Empire In Flames” possesses a slower, grinding tempo but the effect is no less vicious. Pure evil exudes from the speakers as Reaper warns “No white spell can stop the chaos/Your priests suffer in the flames of pain.”

This pretty much sums up the entire album as DOWN WITH THE NAILS bears little variety or deviation from the raw basics of its most primitive roots. Old is unashamedly paying tribute to the bands who shaped the sinister sound of European underground metal but delivering it to a new generation. Admittedly, the lyrics, image and overall package that is Old is about as ridiculously clichéd as anyone could possibly dream up but for fans seeking bare-bones, minimalist, old-school blackened thrash, DOWN WITH THE NAILS is just what the doctor ordered.

KILLER KUTS: “Black Jewel Throne,” “Blood Skull,” “Empire In Flames,” “Down With The Nails”
Track Listing

1. Black Jewel Throne
2. Blood Skull
3. Lust In Bed
4. Under The Sign of Death
5. Empire In Flames
6. A Knife
7. Triumph of Hell
8. Scream For Hell
9. Down With The Nails


Doomhammer—Lead Guitar
Baron—Rhythm Guitar
Horus—Session Bass
Mersus—Session Drums



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