Untrue Death Metal
posted on 4/2007 By:
So this German act has elected to title their self-released debut album Untrue Death Metal. I kind of feel like a scene-politics title like that ought to have more bearing on the music than it does, but as far as I can tell, Assorted Nails is a pretty straightforward metal group who spare little time for humor or self-aware commentary. Instead, this obscure outfit has spent the last six years cooking up a forty-minute block of blackened death metal that, like so many examples of its kind, is solid but generally unspectacular.
Though the general format of their sound is awfully familiar, Assorted Nails generally fair better than recently reviewed peers like Mortyfear and Sulphur. Where those bands blend a clean, melodic Naglfar-like black metal sound with Floridian death metal structures and sonic tonnage, these guys cull from leaner, more ravaging acts like Sargeist or maybe even Arctic Circle. Further, they replace the more technical death component of their songwriting with a melodic, lumbering gait that reminds me a lot of Amon Amarth. The result is a collection of more scathing, windswept songs that manage to cohere far better than their slapped together metal-Frankenstein kinsmen. Assorted Nails slant themselves even more towards black metal appeal with an analog and treble-heavy but still comprehensible production job. This means that a few of the band’s otherwise more potent grooves (“What Lies Beyond,” “You Deserve It”) don’t thunder quite as they might, but ultimately allows Untrue Death Metal to more evenly blend the two genres it incorporates. A vocalist who alternates between the expected grunts and shrieks tops off the blend in typical fashion.
As much as I like what this band is trying to do, I ultimately don’t like the end product for one simple reason—it’s uninspired. If you’re like me, these bands make or break themselves with their ability to churn out awesome riffs, and unfortunately there’s very little to say about Assorted Nails in that department. Decent production, good songwriting sense and stock guitars and drums lands these guys in the “shows potential” department, but unless they can turn it up a notch on their next one I can’t see them going very far.
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