November 09, 2019

Nasum - Shift (2004)

Country: Sweden
Language: English, Swedish (Svenska)
Genre: Grindcore
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© 2004 Relapse Records
AllMusic Review by William York
Nasum's fourth full-length, Shift continued a prolific period for the band, who released Helvete in 2003 and also had members pitch in on Regurgitate's 2003 release Deviant -- meaning they had a hand in two of the top handful of grindcore releases to come out that year. Despite its title, Shift is not a change in direction for the band like its predecessor was; in fact, at first some fans might be a little disappointed at how similar it feels to Helvete, which was a noticeable advance from the previous album, Human 2.0. The same combination of punishing, abrasive grindcore, strategically placed mid-tempo breakdowns, and classic Swedish death metal overtones is still present here, and the production is also similar. Then again, if you are a fan of quality grindcore, neither of those aspects is a negative, so what's there to complain about? Standout track "Wrath" is a mostly mid-tempo number with a mosh pit ready riff on par with Human 2.0's "The Idiot Parade," while more strictly grindcore songs such as "The Deepest Hole" and "Fury" once again demonstrate the subtle melodic riffing prowess that separates Nasum from so many tuneless grindcore bands. "The Engine of Death" finds them stepping out of their customary four/four time on its blastbeat sections, and adds some fantastic harmonized lead guitar work during the solo, a rare event for this very hardcore-punk-inspired band. There are a couple of annoying moments, namely the broken-record screams on "Fight Terror With Terror" and the climactic ending of "The Smallest Man," in which they scream, "You're such a whore!" -- sounding like an immature teenage hardcore band for a brief moment. Two iffy tracks, along with five or six exceptional ones and about 16 more that are also very, very good is still not a bad ratio, though. Nasum, along with Regurgitate, labelmates Pig Destroyer and fellow Swedes Asterisk*), is one of the best grind bands going as of the mid-2000s, and while Shift is not their most groundbreaking release, it is another strong album.

tags: nasum, shift, 2004, flac,

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