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Nunslaughter Still Slaughtering Nuns, More at 7. - 86%

thegallery215, September 13th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, Cassette, Hells Headbangers Records

Nunslaughter need no introduction. Staples of the Cleveland scene since the late 80s, Don of the Dead and Co. have one of the most voluminous discographies in heaven or hell. They're incredibly consistent output is notably lacking in LPs however, with this newest record standing as only the 5th. Although many of the tracks here have appeared elsewhere in their cavernous catalog, positioning them in a more complete package suggests the Ohioans feel a certain confidence in this arrangement of material. Does it stand up to the high bar set by such classic releases as Goat or Hex? I would certainly say so.

Concerns raised by the death of long-time drummer Sadist are quickly quelled by the ferocious opening salvo of "Murmur." New drummer Wrath immediately stakes his claim within the band's raucous death metal sound with cascading concert tom collisions and savage double bass. The riffs are simple but catchy, and Don sounds as possessed as ever. Things continue with devilish momentum in the crude earworm "To a Whore" whose riffs are notably more melodic than some of Nunslaughter's earlier output. It's a welcome change that is channeled on other tracks like "Eat your Heart." This new sense of melodicism doesn't preclude their trademark brutality however, with "Annihilate the Kingdom of God" standing as one of the most aggressive Nunslaughter tracks to date. The traded vocals on the bridge are some of the most blood-pumping growls I've heard this entire year. Tracks like these give me the sense of a band imbued with a new sense of purpose. For a band that's going on 35, Nunslaughter still sound young and hungry. The tracks fly by with a punk sensibility that perpetually keeps things fresh and there's always a standout moment to draw your ear.

Aside from the rapid-fire pacing, Nunslaughter have largely eschewed the hardcore strains that influenced their earlier work. Most songs land in the mid-tempo region with tracks like "The Devil Will Not Stray" relying on slower grooves and crushing breaks to keep the energy high. The departure from hardcore elements is further reinforced by the production which is stellar: clear, crisp, and weighty. In all honesty it's almost too good for a Nunslaughter record. But like fellow Ohioans Midnight, an up in production quality does not correlate with a decrease in song quality. Every song here is rock-solid and Nunslaughter sound like their planning to be raiding convents for another 35 years. Indeed I hope so, as Red is the Color of Ripping Death stands as one of the most immediately enjoyable records of the years so far.