Nunslaughter- Angelic Dread (Hells Headbangers)

Another solid platter of old-school splatter from the underground's flag bearers.
Release Date: 
24 Jun 2014 (All day)

Nunslaughter have always been something of an institution in the underground; their slavish dedication to that ethos being unyielding to the point of obnoxiousness. In their 27 years of existence as a band, they’ve managed to release a staggering number of 7”s, demos, splits, EP’s, compilations and live albums, numbering over 100 in total. This year alone they’ve released three separate live albums. All of which come with limited pressings and overlapping track listings. 

Curiously enough though is the fact that Angelic Dread is only their fourth official full length release. In a way, a full Nunslaughter LP is something of a rarity as it indicates the band was able to temper their creative juices long enough to produce enough material to fill an album and give it proper distribution. With all that said, let’s take a look at it shall we?

What Nunslaughter set out to achieve on Angelic Dread is roughly the same as what they’ve achieved on their other 130 odd releases. That is, to display an almost slavish dedication to death metal at its most stripped-back, most Christian-hating roots. The music is streamlined and uncomplicated, few songs stray over the three minute mark and there’s nary a solo to be seen. All of the focus goes towards pummelling you with riffs and songs that are surprisingly catchy despite the ferocity. It’s as if Venom, Sodom and Possessed all got into a bar fight at a church; the squares may recoil in horror but I think it all seems like a great deal of fun. This sense of fun is certainly perpetuated by the band, who go about things with the same tongue-in-cheek nuance that typified Venom’s patented take on extremity.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Nunslaughter release without the inclusion of a whole bunch of extra material. In addition to the 15 tracks on the album itself, there is a second disc of re-recorded compilation tracks from their many smaller releases. That means there is a total of 31 tracks and over an hour’s listening with both discs taken into consideration. While the second disc is also rather good, I wouldn’t advise you to go through both in one sitting. Nunslaughter is made to be listened to in short bursts and taking each disc individually cuts them both down to a far more manageable 30+ minutes of run time.

Nunslaughter are the masters of their style, so if you like your death metal raw and to the point, and you can’t be arsed chasing up hundreds of EP’s, then Angelic Dread is the album for you.