Nunslaughter
DemoSlaughter

Any decision about whether to purchase Nunslaughter’s DemoSlaughter should come down to your ability to answer one simple question. Are you a devoted fan of the long-running, rabidly anti-Christian, barbarous dealers of death? If the answer is “yes,” then you shouldn’t hesitate in picking up this comprehensive collection of songs from all six previously out of print cassette and 7” demos, rehearsal tracks, and the 1985 demo from pre-Nunslaughter act Death Sentence. As usual, Hells Headbangers Records took care to make it a package assembled with the utmost care. If you are not a fan of Nunslaughter’s “proper” recordings (if you can call anything the band does “proper”), then this raw ‘n bloody collection of lo-fi creations will sure as hell not make you one.

Regardless of your opinion of the act’s bare bones, in your face approach to primitive death (and to some extent thrash) metal, you cannot deny the band’s staying power and relevance to the underground scene. That and the fact that the nun-slaughtering rabble never dealt with a thing called “writer’s block” during its 22-year history make DemoSlaughter a bloodthirsty trip down memory’s sacrilegious lane. Disc 1 of the collection features demo tracks from 1987’s Ritual of Darkness, 1989’s The Rotting Christ, 1991’s Impale the Soul of Christ, 1993’s The Guts of Christ (are you picking up a theme here?), 1995’s Face of Evil, and 1998’s Evil Speaks demo. Of course there are some atrocious recordings on here (The Rotting Christ material in particular is tortuous to the ears), but even then the distorted bass tones, the garbled growls, and the general mayhem of it all has a certain hypnotic quality – in a friggin’ demented, ADHD sort of way – to it. In general, the primal bludgeon is one of the “qualities” that has raised my appreciation of the band over the past few years and from time to time I need a hot dose of that hateful, sonically wretched spew to decimate any notions of love and forgiveness that I may have been harboring…or something like that.

Anyway, as you make your way through Disc 1 you can hear the band develop its style and form an ironclad identity. The first time it really hits is on “Blasphemy of the Flesh” (which I kept trying to write as “Blasphemy made Flesh”); something about those channel-shifting vocals rung that rusty bell. Once the patented Christ-crushing groove arrives on the very next track, “Burning Away,” you will really hear what Nunslaughter is all about and continues to be to this day. Hell, “Alive but Dead” is even catchy and its shifts from death-thrashing to doom-plodding blasphemously righteous. Though I’ll refrain from any further track-specific detailing, I did find “Sacrificial Zombie” to be memorably wicked.

The rehearsal tracks on Disc 2 will appeal to the diehards as well, if only because the cuts capture another aspect of the band’s history, one that is about as far away from pretty as Amy Winehouse is dead. Along those same lines it is interesting to hear seeds of what would become Nunslaughter in the primitive thrash of Death Sentence.

Yeah, at 56 songs approaching two hours in length, bolstered by packaging that includes a 32-page booklet, photos, and commentary from Don of the Dead, you damn well better be a worshipper at the altar of Nunslaughter. On the other hand, I wouldn’t put myself in that category, yet I rather enjoyed the two-hour ride through Hell’s sewer system. Any way you look at it, Nunslaughter is not for everyone and the band certainly never intended it to be.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
August 8th, 2011

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