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Nunslaughter - The Devil's Congeries Vol. 1

The Devil's Congeries Vol. 1
by Dorothy Cheng at 01 August 2013, 11:58 AM

Ohio-based “Devil-Metallers” NUNSLAUGHTER have certainly set a benchmark for being prolific. Since their formation in 1987, they have released dozens of re-recordings, joint-recordings, compilations and albums. Come 2013, their record company, Hell’s Headbanger’s Records offers up a new addition to their ever-growing discography with The Devil’s Congeries Vol. 1, a compilation of NUNSLAUGHTER’s 7” Eps stemming from the early 1990's up to the 2000's – a potful of honey for any person with a penchant for collection. Take note that a Vol. 2 is on the way. The first disk features studio recordings, and the second disk is all about the live experiences, with recordings taken off their “Hell On…” live shows. Each CD features 29 mind-numbing tracks, and the total run-time is too evil to print. Artwork and other press information is also provided along with the CDs – surely making The Devil's Cogeries Vol. 1 the object of any diehard NUNSLAUGHTER fan's wet dreams.

Highly indulgent, isn't it? Anybody who has an inkling for crunchy, cringey, crisp Death Metal with expressively manic vocals will fall at the feet of this release. The band seems to have hand-picked the most barbarous tracks they ever in their 34-year career, grouping these tracks together to derive an hour-plus' worth of debauched headbanging. In terms of material lineup, the band's 1997 split 7” with BLOODSICK leads the charge, especially with its speedy tempo that is rife with Grind and Hardcore influences. The songs then follow in an archetypal brutal fashion, with a few slower, more staple Death Metal offerings here and there. NUNSLAUGHTER has an interesting relationship with speed, abusing and exploiting it every chance they get, yet cradling it selfishly in their musician's arms, crafting melodies and atmospheres around it in an almost deranged-ly specific manner.

Of course, the aggressive nature of NUNSLAUGHTER'S lyrics bring colour to the entire experience. Though simple, their lyrics are scathingly nonchalant, almost sarcastic if not downright dismissive of religion. Coupled with their natural underground sound and feel, NUNSLAUGHTER makes for a listen the Heavy Metal elite will gladly boast about. There is an absolute maniacal feverishness that the band employs in it writing and performance. The instrumentals are always one step ahead in terms of atmosphere, ever needing the lyrics to reinforce their point at any moment. The drums are brilliantly varied, with complex patterns smattered throughout the songs, bringing a lot with it at different points pure Metal madness, bluesy chuggishness, and a steady, pounding, grooves.

The band is as crazed live as they are in the studio, if not more, and are viciously on point where it comes to live precision. Even when they veer off the path of perfection, the raw brutality of the performances makes for an entire experience in itself. To emphasise further their underground history, the band releases recordings of rehearsals as well, as far back as their year of conception. The only downside of this is that listeners need to be able to stomach lo-fi, taking into account the already sped-up and jarringly chaotic nature of NUNSLAUGHTER'S music. Despite all this intensity, the Killed By the Cross EP still seemed to have the most challenges to offer the listener. With music sounding like it was shredded apart in the jaw of Satan and put in a blender, listeners will need to sum up all the endurance they have to sit through this segment. In this sense, the compilation can be a bit too obscure for most people. The tracks may all be short and to-the-point, but there really is no motivation for a person who isn't a fanatic of NUNSLAUGHTER to appreciate the rehearsal recordings or some of their more obscure stuff from their EPs.

But perfection has never been a strong point with Metal. In fact, we spit on perfection. That's what makes the music so special, relatable, and real. NUNSLAUGHTER did the bravest thing musicians can do, and that is to expose their raw and calloused nature to the world. Few musicians have the confidence to do that. With that philosophy in mind, sit back, relax, and enjoy the crazed vitality of The Devil's Congeries Vol. 1 – if it doesn't have the effect of bleeding your ears dry or splitting your head open you may need to consider looking to some Djent-Techno-Hardstyle-Grind-Hardcore-Dubstep cult for musical fulfilment.

4 Star Rating

Disc 1 (studio):

1. I.N.R.I
2. Power of Darkness
3. Sacrifice
4. Emperor In Hell
5. Demon's Gate
6. Bring Me the Head of God
7. If the Dead Could Speak
8. Devil Metal
9. Black Beast
10. Church Bizzare
11. Midnight Mass
12. Resurrection
13. It Is I
14. Poisoned Priest
15. Fire
16. Obsessed with the Visions of a Satanic Priest
17. Atheist Ways
18. The Fucking Witch
19. She Lives by Night
20. NunSlaughter
21. I Am Death
22. NunSlaughter
23. Hell's Unholy Fire
24. Death by the Dead
25. Killed by the Cross
26. I Am Death

Disc 2 (Live)

1. Face of Evil
2. Emperor in Hell
3. Dead Plague
4. Midnight Mass
5. Killed by the Cross
6. I.N.R.I
7. Fire
8. Power of Darkness
9. Blood for Blood
10. The Fucking Witch
11. I Am Death
12. Death by the Dead
13. It Is I
14. Altar of the Dead
15. Atheist Ways
16. Reign in Blood
17. In the Graveyard
18. Obsessed with the Visions of a Satanic Priest
19. Burn in Hell
20. Burning Away
21. NunSlaughter
22. Satanic
23. Black Horn of the Ram
24. Piranha
25. Hellchild
26. Ritual of Darkness
27. Devil Metal
28. Church Bizarre
29. Poisoned Priest
Don of the Dead – Bass, Vocals
Zack Massacre – Guitars
Jim Sadist – Drums
The Deserter - Bass
Record Label: Hells Headbangers Records


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