Album of the Day: Nasum – Helvete

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Label: Relapse Records

Sometimes, a song is too good. Put an absolutely killer song near the start of an album, and it can do one of two things: either it will get the listener hooked early on, and set them up for listening to the full record; or it can overshadow the rest of the album, making what would be an otherwise excellent record seem diminished. I’m not quite sure the later is the case for Nasum‘s Helvete, their 2003 tour-de-force; but there’s surely no denying that nothing on the album matches up to second track ‘Scoop’.

As far as I’m concerned, ‘Scoop’ is the perfect grind song. Shifts of tempo and emphasis, killer riffs, and even a superb solo are all packed in to a relatively concise two minutes twenty seconds. It demonstrates how deceptively technical grind can be, too, whilst always moving with utmost passion and fury. From that point on, the rest of Helvete – as excellent as it is – never quite reaches the same heights, though it still sounds better than the vast majority of other grind records (and, for my money, no other grind band from the time really compares to how good Nasum were, other than Pig Destroyer). But damn, despite how good songs like ‘Stormshield’, ‘Drop Dead’, and the mournful ‘The Final Sleep’ are, it can be hard not to just listen to ‘Scoop’ on repeat for a half hour at a time!

Helvete is available on CD and vinyl from Relapse Records, and Relapse Europe. It’s also available digitally and on vinyl via Bandcamp, and can be streamed on Spotify.

 

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