(Hells Headbangers)

01. This is Fucking War
02. I Hate Christians
03. Pyre
04. To Defile
05. Immortalize
06. Ogrish
07. Unbaptized
08. Hex
09. Smell the Burning Churches
10. Face of Evil
11. Lucifer
12. My Evil Concubine
13. Slaughter the Heavens
14. No Place for the Cross
15. Rebuilding Sodom
16. Riders of the Apocalypse
17. Power of Darkness

RATING: 6.5/10

"…life is nasty, brutish, and short", wrote 17th Century philosopher Thomas Hobbes in his book Leviathan, this abbreviated statement also aptly describing the music of underground legends NUNSLAUGHTER. After about a thousand (well, more like 110) releases of various shapes and sizes since forming in 1987, the quartet recently released its third full-length album, "Hex", and the old school, dirty death/thrash style heard on these 17 blasphemous cuts will come as no surprise to the act's followers.

The music of NUNSLAUGHTER has always been about getting straight to the point, rather than messing about with excessive wankery or complicated song structures, and "Hex" continues that trend, kind of like death/thrash with a punk attitude. Whether it is "This is Fucking War" (and it's not so subtle shouts of "Satan! Satan! Satan!)", "I Hate Christians", or "Smell the Burning Churches", the approach is one concerned solely with up-tempo rhythms, basic death/thrash riffs, and loud, in-your-face vocals that leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to the denigration of Christianity. The band does mix things up here and there in the arrangement department though, most notably on the title track, one that begins with an ominous bass groove matched with venomous vocals before launching into another quick stomp and coming back around again. Overall, this is pure unabashed metal, burned to a crisp, and loaded with all the elements that made raw thrash and the beginnings of death metal so urgent and delectably barbaric. The lyrics border on the comical at times, but that was the case with VENOM too and no one gave two shits about it.

The main problem with "Hex" is the recording. If it is ugly you seek, then it is ugly you shall get. Rawness is not a problem for this style of metal, but a muddy mix that leaves the guitars thin and the vocals way out in front hurts the effort, but only because the sonic impact could have been much more punishing. The band is clearly not concerned with sounding pretty and polished, and the recording only detracts enough to drop the rating a half point or so. Otherwise, plug in, turn up, worship Satan, or fuck off. That, my friends, is "Hex".


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