You Will Never Be One Of Us
*** and 1/2 out of *****
A pure blast of aggression and metal thrash comes flying into your earholes when you cue up You Will Never Be One Of Us from Nails. This short full length release is the first for the band on the big metal label Nuclear Blast Records (who also showcase none other than metal gods Slayer) and the group don't shy from the spotlight, they shine.
The band is a trio of power from Oxnard, California (Todd Jones – vocals, guitar, John Gianelli –bass, Taylor Young – drums) and open with the title track, setting them apart from the crowd. in a shotgun explosion of anger and screamed lyrics.
Besides the closer (which we will get to) the songs come fast and furious, never sticking around for more then a minute and a half. "Friend To All" goes back on the title separation but does so over cool as fuck fast tempo changes. Flashes of laser guitars from Jones light up "Made To Make You Fall" while the groove of the low end takes center stage for "Life Is A Death Sentence".
"Violence Is Forever" uses some screeching guitars to end, hinting at layers of noise rock under the speed/thrash/power metal surface while "Into Quietus" gives the sludge bass and double kick drums a workout. The album all speed and harshness before the band trots out closer "They Come Crawling Back", a huge metal opus that runs an astonishing (for this band) eight plus minutes.
The track hits all of the big metal high-points, thudding drums screaming guitars, barely recognizable vocals, and in the context of the shorter more hardcore songs, it works wonders and adds a new dimension to the band. After it is done rolling out and pummeling the listener, You Will Never Be One Of Us turns out to be one of the best heavy hardcore records of the year.