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Angelic Dread

Hells Headbangers (2014)
Rating: 8/10

Every now and then I like to take a drip into the humid vacuum of hell, but every time I wish to do so I require a permit to travel. Thankfully, this time my portal into the underworld is through the flaming channels of Nunslaughter, those American purveyors of the perverse and the hellish who have just released a fantastically smothering and satanic chapter by way of Angelic Dread.

Now, these guys have been worshipping the goat since 1987 and still feature original member Don of the Dead (bass / vocals) who is joined here once again by guitarist Zack Massacre and drummer Jim Sadist.

I’m pretty sure that any fan of old school blasphemous metal will know just the hell who Nunslaughter is, because this unhealthy 31-track double album is the perfect soundtrack for ventures into those titan caverns and blood-encrusted passageways of Hades.

Angelic Dread is one of only a handful of studio albums to emerge from this band who like to call their brand of noise “devil metal”. However, when one pits this clutch of releases alongside the countless EPs, live albums and split projects, then one can see just how prolific and vicious this bunch of Devil’s rejects are.

This time round we get more of the same, but hey, we wouldn’t want it any other way. Read the titles and weep as Nunslaughter cave our heads in with the likes of ‘Crush The Guff’, ‘Inner Beast’, ‘Blood Drinker’, ‘Coffins And Crosses’, ‘One Bad Bitch’, ‘The Bog People’, ‘Sickened By The Sight Of Christ’ and ‘Deathlehem’ to name but a few of these sordid acts. On average, a majority of the tracks run for just over two minutes, and each one is a foetid cacophony of the highest disorder.

Nunslaughter seem to be the natural (or should that read unnatural?) step on from Bathory, Venom, Bulldozer and the likes in the sense that the music is rough, fast, raw and just a tad unholy to say the least! The title track prepares the listener for war as a brief rush of hate engulfs the ears before the next barrage of bullets enters the flesh, ‘Looking Into The Abyss’ with its vintage thrashing rage.

‘Twisted Spirit’ adopts the same levels of maniacal mayhem and then it’s onto the rusty rush of ‘The Lycanthrope’ with its rapid drum kicks, the hideous trudge of ‘Don’t Mourn Me’ and the catchy and effortless is the blazing entity that is ‘Infested’, which remains one of the fastest expressions on this foul outing.

Nunslaughter have never taken any prisoners; they merely swagger into the fray and command respect. Uncompromising and unrelenting is the order of the day for this despicable bunch. With the second disc being comprised of tracks only previously available on rare seven-inch singles and reworked for this disc especially, Angelic Dread is a must-have for anyone who likes filthy metal that spends most of its billowing black smoke. Just choke on the fumes of the rotten ‘Emperor In Hell’ and gulp down the rust spewed forth from the vile atrocities which are ‘Shadow World’, ‘Healing The Possessed’ and the frightful ‘In The Graveyard’ and ‘Black Horn Of The Ram’.

The next time you tell your mates you’re off to get slaughtered, be careful what you wish for because after experiencing this hell-hole of a platter, I feel like I won’t be visiting hell for a long time yet. This was one rough ride indeed!

Neil Arnold

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