NAILBOMB • Point Black (Blade Bullet Coloured Vinyl) • LP

NAILBOMB • Point Black (Blade Bullet Coloured Vinyl) • LP

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In 1993, Max Cavalera from Sepultura and Alex Newport from Fudge Tunnel formed an industrial/thrash metal band named Nailbomb, which was previously named Hate Project and Sickman. They would release their only album "Point Black" a year later, and the initial reception of the album was mixed. People didn't think that the dark electronics of industrial and the raging riffs of thrash would go together well, but to the shock of a lot of people, it actually worked. Not only does it mix these two contrasting genres well, but it also had some great vocals and deep lyrics.

One of the best elements on this album is the instruments. As stated before, this album mixes in industrial and thrash metal sounds, and they mix them a lot better than you'd think. The album starts off with the track "Wasting Away", which begins with some dark industrial synths. They are good at setting in a dark atmosphere, and this atmosphere would be magnified when the guitars kick in. The guitars play these angry riffs that set in a tone of fury and angst. The drums also beat very fast, and in some of the grander moments, it would play some blastbeats that further execute the fast-paced riffs. Even the bass is good, since it follows along the guitars well and plays its own riffs sometimes. Other great instrumentals on this album would be "Vai Toma no Cú", "Cockroaches", and "For Fuck's Sake", since they mix in the thrash and industrial elements just as well. The instrumentals on this album are fantastic, and remain some of the best in this type of genre.

Another great thing about "Point Blank" would be the vocals. Max and Alex do the vocals together, and they are great. Their voice sound angry and vexed, and they have a punk-like attitude in their voice. This is especially true with "Religious Cancer". In that song, their voice sounds more irate than usual as they scream about the problems of the church. Their vocals also flow well to the instruments, since the dark industrial style flows well the rants of Max and Alex. While the vocals are a bit weak in "Exploitation", they still maintain the raging atmosphere of the instruments very well.

The lyrics are also great. Nailbomb mainly focused on political and social themes, and they are written well here. For example, in the track "Sum of Your Achievements", this verse quotes:

Children burning crawling dying
Knowledge and science used as toys
Splitting neutrons we made us a bomb
No advences in the war

This verse talks about how countries are misusing nuclear bombs. The simile of how they treat them like toys is clever, and it expresses the problems with countries being careless on nukes. Further more, the lyrics are enhanced by the instruments and vocals. The track goes for a more slower tempo and has a further emphasis on the industrial tunes like in "Religious Cancer", giving the actions done by the countries a more sinister tone. Max and Alex's vocals are also more grueling and pissed, which makes the lyrics feel like they genuinely hate nukes. These descriptive and exposing lyrics are present throughout the album, and they're written well.

Even though this is the only album they've ever released, "Point Blank" is still a brilliant album. The mix of industrial and thrash is done well, the vocals are very angsty, and the lyrics expose a lot of the world's problems. The band would release a live album named "Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide" a year later before Max and Alex disbanded it to do other things. While I would've love to see more of Nailbomb, "Point Blank" is still a great album for those who like industrial and thrash.

Max Cavalera and Alex Newport trade vocals and influences on an album that sounds somewhere between new Sepultura/early Soulfly and mid-period Godflesh. It's basically a mix between the flavors of mid 90's Brazilian and English metal, and it isn't kind on the ears by any stretch of the imagination. The album is heavily tinted with industrial metal rawness and pure grinding aggression, with the dynamic roaring guitar tone of post-thrash and strong punk-metal/grind vibes on the uptempo accelerations, even sounding like overly aggressive rock n' roll at times. The drums in particular are rather rock-oriented, heavy indie/industrial rock or punkish, providing a width to the tracks that one usually doesn't find in bunches on a strictly metal album. The chained up rapid double kick assaults make an appearance here and there but are kept to a bare minimum.

Some of the tracks will sound mostly like outright Max Cavalera metal with simple chuggy grooves and the typical loud in-your-face shouting, while others introduce the more mechanical rhythmic energy of industrial. There's a clear noise influence with heavy distorted samples in the background over the riffs or to start songs on relatively quieter yet still overdriven sonic motions setting that cold inhospitable atmosphere. The songs are a lot more experimental than what one might find on a Sepultura album, with odd delay or distortion effects on the lead vocals, fairly long stretches of instrumental noise over pounding rhythms among a host of various industrial-inspired arrangements.

The band intentionally use short formats for many of the songs (a few barely 3min long) to better accentuate the abrupt caustic nature of the music, although the later tracks on the album stretch towards 4-5min frames. The record is uneven and unpredictable that way and it isn't sure what'll come next at the end of a track. It really sounds like Cavalera and British partner in crime Newport had quite a bit of fun making this. There's definitely a bit of a raw live recording feel to it at least on a few tracks and it feels like the cooperation between the two protagonists happened in an organic and seamless way. At no point does this album come across as pretentious or as the band having any form of pressure to perform, and the end result is a spontaneous mixture of initially heterogeneous styles colluding and producing a unique form of aggressive music that has "mid-90s" written all over it.

It isn't gloriously conceived material or quite ground-breaking but it's at least interesting for the neutral fan to discover, and in hindsight such records are rare, especially considering the formatted sound of modern bands today and it isn't likely such a phenomenon will occur again.

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