Nihilist: Carnal Leftovers 12” (Nuclear Blast)
Even though Entombed’s Left Hand Path has been one of my go-to metal albums for years (maybe even decades at this point?), it took this latest repress coming in to Sorry State for me to listen to Nihilist, the band where several of Entombed’s members cut their teeth. After hearing this collection, I feel like I’ve wasted a bunch of time I could have spent listening to this ripping collection of demos.
There are few things I love about the sessions compiled here. First, they capture a band playing death metal that doesn’t feel as stylized as the genre would come, even by the time of Entombed’s masterpiece Left Hand Path. Early Sodom must have been a huge influence on the songwriting and vibe here, but there’s an “anything goes” vibe, like they’re simply trying to be heavy and brutal rather than fit every moment into a coherent aesthetic. While there is plenty of dark and evil-sounding thrashing, so many parts are upbeat, even danceable, with the tone occasionally shifting to a kind of splatter movie-type glee. I’m not sure if hardcore bands would have been listening to Nihilist, but the way they combine heaviness with a bouncy groove reminds me of the metal-tinged hardcore popular in the 90s, but with an added sense of supernatural horror and menace.
This LP is out of stock from us, but hopefully we can get more. Therefore, I should note there’s a lot of material crammed onto this LP and the fidelity suffers somewhat. The a-side is quieter than I would expect, but the recordings are lo-fi in the first place, so it’s not a deal breaker for me. It would be awesome if they reissued this as a double LP collection, but in the meantime this version will work just fine for me.