One strong clue to Nuisible’s world-view could be found in the title of their last release, 2016’s Inter feces et urinam nascimur (“We are born between feces and urine”). Their new album is named Slaves & Snakes, and based on the music, it’s an easy guess that this title sums up the character of the human condition after birth. It’s a bleak perspective, and one that this French band channel into sound with traumatizing fury.
In describing their brand of brutalizing heaviness the band make references to Tragedy, Darkthrone, and Entombed. Crust and hardcore form the backbone of their assaults, which are undergirded by massive low-end weight and driven to heights of murderous blackened frenzy. The music is as merciless as the open mouth of Hell and meaner than a pack of rabid dogs, and yet the band have a knack for embedding both rhythmic and melodic hooks in these ten mauling tracks, and of switching gears often enough to keep you in harness for the whole bruising ride.
It’s probably obvious already from what you’ve just read, but Slaves & Snakes possesses a crippling physicality. Delivered in different ways, it’s a bone-breaking, body-mangling demolition job. The drumwork is punishing; the bass lines sound like the gnashing of granite teeth; the rhythm guitar is tuned to a gritty, bruising tone; the sounds of the lead guitar are almost always unnerving, And the jugular-ripping vocals are raw, berserker manifestations of unbridled rage.
Yes, it’s a demolition job, but one that doesn’t wear out its welcome despite the music’s unvarnished and often painful intensity. For one thing, the jaw-slugging rhythms are constantly in flux as the drummer segues between brawling punk romps, methodical sledge-hammering, thrash-like gallops; eruptions of blast-beat strafing, and more. At one end, chaos reigns; at another end, there are brutish breakdowns that open up like sudden sinkholes in the pavement beneath your feet.
For another thing, along with an array of compelling riffs, the songs include threads of melody that add character to the tracks, with leads that alternately sound dismal, diseased, and delirious, and with braying chords that bespeak agony and defiance. Slithering arpeggios surface in “And Snakes” (which, together with the opener “Slaves…” makes for a formidable one-two punch to launch the album); hook-laden pulsating notes pop up in “Evil Still” and “Vengeful Blood”; even the clean, wailing vocals in “Two-Sided Integrity” get stuck in the head — albeit briefly, because that track is a blast of boiling and bounding mayhem (which contrasts with the slow and monstrously thuggish pile-driver, “Swarm As King”, which precedes it); and “Death Legacy” ends with a piano melody backed by a rising torrent of unnerving noise that’s gloomy and haunting.
Unsurprisingly, given the intensity of the music, the lyrical concepts of the tracks revolve around “capitalism, alienation, corruption, the loss of dear ones, depression and addictions”. If you want to look at life through rose-colored glasses, look elsewhere. If you prefer music that won’t leave you feeling black and blue, look elsewhere. If you want to wreck your neck, channel your pain and anger, and get big shots of adrenaline, listen to Slaves & Snakes. We have a full stream below.
Slaves & Snakes was produced by Nuisible and their friend Camille Giraudeau. It will be released on September 21st by Deadlight Entertainment (CD), Terrain Vague (LP), and Mallevs Records (tape).
► CD – https://tinyurl.com/nuisiblecd
► Bundle CD+T-shirt+Patch – https://tinyurl.com/nuisiblepack
► Vinyl LP –https://terrainvaguerecords.bandcamp.com
► Tape – https://mallevsrecords.bigcartel.com
1. Slaves… 01:55
2. And Snakes 03:17
3. Evil Still 04:15
4. Death Legacy 04:59
5. Vengeful Blood 03:46
6. Interlude 00:42
7. Swarm as King 03:09
8. Two-Sided Integrity 01:35
9. Burning Embers 03:26
10. Blind Paradox 01:32
11. Blur the Light 04:21