A Needle Under the Nail, the chaotic bunch of metalcore androids, apparently call South Florida their homebase. Unless I'm completely incompetent, they seem to be completely and refreshingly absent on all social media platforms.
Released in June, the new music fulfills all the promises made by last year's standout demo. Based on the futuristic and decidedly sci-fi bent on their The Third Impact EP, they could just as likely hail from an abandoned space station as Pembroke Pines. Regardless, their vicious and punishing take on early oughts metallic hardcore is fully realized and puts them squarely in the center of a full-on revival.
Metalcore is perhaps the most divisive of portmanteaus. 2018 finds us heavy and looking backwards in a way no one ever predicted. Alongside a current crop of bands like Bloodbather, Mouthbreather, and a litany of others, they're clearly reinvigorating a sound that's long needed a transfusion of vile new blood. Calling to mind early purveyors Martyr A.D. and Disembodied, one can hear elements of "remember them?" deeper references like On Broken Wings and even Prayer for Cleansing.
What clearly sets A Needle Under the Nail apart is their influence from another less likely inspiration: "super robots." For generations weaned on "mech anime" (I had to Google it!), the through line may seem a bit more clear. Theirs is a mechanized and robotic sound that manages to avoid an inanimate sterility. Instead, there's an organic and volatile edge to "Event Horizon:, a standout from the EP.
In much the same way as the film it takes it's namesake from, something is off straight away. A doomed mission from the start, the chugging and paced menace of the intro is a warning to the misguided entrants of an abandoned vessel. Alas, there's no turning back. Played with precision, the entire ep is brimming with original riffs, pulverizing breakdowns, and an utterly unhinged vocal style that still manages a clarity. Riddled with anguish and anxiety, the music matches the vocals' articulation. Panic chords, helicopter guitar lines, squeals both human and steel-gauged all Hog Pile, fighting until the alarm clock riffs tear them apart once again.
A Nail Under the Skin are clearly onto something. Get it before the singularity happens and we're all decimated by robots. You'll need a soundtrack.
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