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R.I.P. - 82%

PazuzuZlave, September 8th, 2005

It’s funny how things going in the right direction always has to suddenly end in a catastrophy. I’m talking, of course, about guitarist and singer Mieszko Talarczyk who died last year in the Tsunami disaster. Nasum was still evolving as a band, and one can only marvel in the hopeless thoughts what may have happened if this band still was active. Well, I’ve mourned my idol, and let’s leave that at peace.

This is certainly an evolvement over their last efforts. Even though I found great songs in all of their former albums, this was by far my favourite. The sound has changed. They sound more polished than ever on “Shift”. It may bear some similarity to “Helvete”, but if you listen to two tracks from each album you’ll know the difference. The guitars could’ve been a little bit higher, but the mixing is satisfying at its worst.

Every Nasum album up ‘til now has started violently, straight up in-your-face grindcore from the first second. Well, be ready for a surprise, as the first track “Particles” starts. A weird vacuum-like sound slowly fills your speakers, and a clinging sound counts in the first slow (!) part. That’s right, we’re introduced with a slow blackish type riff and a kickass low guttural roar. It doesn’t last very long though, and we’re on our typical Nasum experience. Fast as hell, violent as fuck and chaotic in its presence. This is the best intro to a grind/death album I’ve ever heard. The ultra-fast riffing and drumming doesn’t take a pause until track nr. 5. “Wrath” is different from the rest. Slower, heavier and (in some ways) better. They made a video for this track, so they must have favoured it themselves. Off we go again with the fast grinding. “The deepest hole” is very good. It has very little melody to it, but that melody drives it. Interesting track. “The Smallest Man” starts out nice, with Mieszko screaming “You’re such a whore!” several times over a slower riff. The rest of the track is also good, the chorus particularly. “Closer to the End” is the second definite earcatcher. Pure chaos dwells out at first, then slows down to a quite melodic and harmonic part. The guitartone variations in the slow part are good and clever as hell, and this is where you really can tell Nasum has matured. They’ve tried something new, but not just because of the trying, but because it’s just so damn good. The same goes for “Fury”. Melodic and different, but still damn good, and one of the best here. The last track “Darkness Falls” is also a standout track. Great harmonies used on the guitars & beautiful (yes, beautiful) shrieks from Mieszko sums up this album.

I can’t seriously listen to this in my car anymore. I get so excited, and start doing air-guitar and –drums from the beginning to the end. Simply put, that’s how you know your listening to some intense, dark, and great music!