Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Tribute To Nasum

Nasum Space
Release: 2009
Type: CD/2 LP
Label: Power-It-Up

Someone far smarter than I am put it better. Anders Jakobson was no slouch either. Simply put, Nasum is the gold standard when it comes to penning quality grind riffs. Grab a random CD and see for yourself - all of their material speaks directly to this greatness. And you only need to play the Imitation:Flattery game for about 20 seconds to see the band's lasting contribution to the genre. I am also of the belief that you cannot fuck up a Nasum song. Go ahead, call me a fan boy. I truly hold this belief. Fealt this way going into the Tribute and that opinion has held through repeated listens. Of course I am not saying Depeche Mode would do a nice cover of "Worldcraft" or that Nine Inch Nails could do "Shaping The End" justice. I'm talking about metal bands with a punk vibe.

I will, however, be the first to admit that I have not listened to all the bands represented here. I'd never even heard of a few before getting the CD. One of the things I enjoy most though is that the bands played these songs in their own style. I can only assume the bands I am unfamiliar with followed suit. For example, Rompeprop preserved their march/stomp groove and pitch-shifted (to the point of indecipherable) vomit vocals on "Disappointed." In a way, it's kind of ironic, since Disappointed is lyrically one of Nasum's better songs - a scathing rant about something we all share in common: flaky friends we just have to turn our back on.

The main point of satisfaction for me comes in how well Inhale/Exhale is represented, it being one of my top five grind albums - something I find odd, seeing that I prefer double bass, thrash riffs and crossover bass lines in my grind. It's your classic "exception proves the rule" example. But the play list is broken up well, so it's not an Inhale/Exhale tribute, nor a chronological history of Nasum. It's 53 tunes laid out with the sole purpose of getting you up off your ass for an hour. Seriously, how many grind bands have you heard who don't even have 53 songs, let alone 53 good ones?

In this light the whole CD passes my test. Given the degree of hype surrounding the release from it's inception I would argue that all the bands did a great job. The songs are as varied as the bands so I'm pretty sure everyone will have their own favorites. Some classics get the lo-fi treatment while others are over produced to the point of using static as an extra instrument (won't spoil the surprise by giving examples). I particularly liked Poostew's rendition of "Doombringer" and Dead Infection's "Think" in their Swedish meets Bolt Thrower tone. Never heard either band before this.

I can only think of two complaints. Neither one really bother me, nor would having knowledge of them prevent me from buying this in the first place. Number one: How is it, with such a vast discography to choose from, that two bands ended up covering Corrosion (The Arson Project and Sanity's Dawn)? Couldn't one of them do The System Has Failed Again or Burning Inside? The other is regarding the inlay card: It folds out like a 7" split. The inside is a map of the Earth, in red, with your standard black and white death and destruction artwork around the edges. The continents are littered with falling bombs with band names written on them. At first I thought it was all fancy, with each bomb falling on where the covering band is from. But no, it was just thrown together.

Those two points aside, did I mention the songs kick ass? Check it out here. Buy it here. Do it for Johnny. Wolverines! Whatever your mantra: go get it.


Flesh Monolith said...

Dope post, can't wait to listen, but track 21 is corrupt.

The sheer amount of bands on this is a testament to how great Nasum were and the huge amount of respect people have towards Mieszko. I'm surprised this wasn't done sooner, and I'm surprised Napalm Death had nothing to do with it as they were big supporters of Nasum, and immediately took action once they heard of Mieszko passing. It was really was cool to see the band gain the respect and friendship from a band they had all grown up listening to and loving.


Andrew Childers said...

you're a fun (fan?) boy. there i said it.

i loved in decibel's metal kitties feature that embury named a cat (norwegian woody!) mieszko.

206 said...

Snagged on a typo. Sorry about the bad track - but I'm not fixing it :)

Andrew Childers said...

haha. your stuff is usually so well written i just had to bust your balls a bit.

Invisible Oranges said...

Shit, I need to get on this. Thanks for the reminder.

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