HailNothing – “Ancient Tombs”
I love Chuck Berry. He recently died at 90, doing 90 motivating over the hill. He has a song called “School Days” that has the lyrics, “Hail, Hail Rock’N’Roll. The feeling’s there body and soul.”
So I will hail Rock’N’Roll, I will hail Chuck Berry, I will hail punk.
Hail, besides meaning pellets of frozen rain, means to “approve enthusiastically.”
I would say there’s not a lot in our society to “Hail.”
But it also means, “a large number of objects to fall or be hurled forcefully.”
And the music on this album is like heavy slabs of concrete dropped upon your ears, heavy sounds hurled towards your head, hitting it with such force that your head bangs, back and forth, like one of those old bobble head, kewpie dolls that people used to put on their dashboards for some obscure reason.
But HailNothin is not old sounding. They describe themselves as “punk, grindcore, hardcore, power violence,” and from Leominister, MA.
I describe them as a jackhammer of sound, planted inside your head and exploding with some some powerfully, intense, malevolent music that will cause your nervous system to expire but still leaves you smiling, blissfully desirous of more.
Let’s see if I’m right:
With feedback only eclipsed by several, thundering, solitary guitar chords, “The Great Devourer” moves us into a rolling, hardcore rhythm with vocals poised on the line where hardcore and death meet, all the while spitting out as much bile and disgust as possible. The beat is propulsive and rolls over anything in its way as the guitars generate aggression. “I will devour your heart,” is proclaimed during a crashing breakdown. But soon the drums push us forward, intensely, to the previous hardcore part. An exciting, justifiable finish to a great opening song.
With a confusion of noise and vocals and rhythms springing immediately out at you, “Blood Pig,” thrust us into a collision that is as exciting as it is disorientating. Once you get your bearings you’re hearing a forceful, emotional death/hardcore vocal atop a frantic drum beat. They bring the warp speed down to a hard hitting, headbanging romp with many proclamations in what he is, but I know for sure this is a great fuckin’ song.
With some fuzzed out bass barreling along before some bashing guitar chords arrive, along with slashing drums, “Phantom Limb” moves along in a doom-y funk beat that increases in energy and venom during the chorus, but soon relapses in the mire of the previous funk. The intense diatribe of the vocals is met with the clashing, dissonant guitar until the drums rev it up, to a one hit to the beat that lurches us forward. “I am the dust of a dying breed,” may of may not be the lyrics, but I know I’m not mistaken in calling this, a powerfully, intense, exciting song- my favorite on the album.
After a feedbackin’ guitar intro, “The Priest” rushes in with a tumultuous hardcore beat, ignited by a great expressive death/hardcore vocal leading it on. An intense, headbanging funk rhythm erupts in the song for awhile until a rolling drum beat leads us into the beginning again, which is really, the ending of another great tune.
“Ancient Tomb: Patera,” starts with some distorted bass or maybe, it’s guitar until it runs headlong into a loop of some tranquil trance music. But once the vocals enter the ring, we are met with some growling, demanding epitaphs and doom-y, dark guitar. This song shakes it up with a blistering, hardcore part but then reverts to the previous pulse of the beginning. Then a slow moving, headbanging coda is tagged onto the song. “I will devour, I will consume you,” the vocals threaten while the beat and intensity increase leading us to the end of this great album.
HailNothing has an exceptional vocalist, who has the power to sing this style of music along with the ability to fully express the emotion, as well. Also, a terrific rhythm section that handles all the twists and turns of this style, ably and still swings. Plus, a guitarist who is equally adept but would rather play for the song than for his ego.
HailNothing is the name of this band.
And though in these trying times it’s easy to say there’s “nothing to believe in” so let’s “Hail Nothing!”- I disagree.
I believe in Chuck Berry, I believe in HailNothing. I believe in grindcore. I believe in Rock’N’Roll.
I believe in this album. And I believe you will like this album, too.
‘Cause you see- I, also, believe in you.