HGR CD Review: Naildriver

NAILDRIVER – THE WHITE DEVIL CHRONICLES VOLUME 1 (no label) Altoona’s Naildriver doesn’t mince words or riffs on their first official EP offering, The White Devil Chronicles Volume 1, as they loudly and proudly put pedal to the metal. Naildriver brings brute-force, modern thrash metal over the disc’s five tracks; paced by Kevin Siegel’s precision rapid fire drum thunder and Scott Bush’s quaking low-end bass rumble, both laying the foundation for the snarling twin-edged guitar attack of lead axe Scott Botteicher and rhythm guitarist Todd Dale. These backdrops serve as the launching pad for the Phil Anselmo-informed Doberman snarl of lead throat man Matt Watson. Watson’s over-the-top delivery drives home the intense rage of “Hypocrite’s Anthem,” an impassioned, high-velocity condemnation of the Westboro Baptist Church and its agenda-serving protests. Watson turns introspective with his anger on the bracing disc-opener “Enemy,” exploring how such internal anger should be channeled. Naildriver takes listeners inside the mixed martial arts octagon on the bold and volatile “Seal the Exits,” and the disc-closer “Executioner” unapologetically levies the final penalty. Naildriver shows a darker flavor on “Phoenix,” ushered in by a piano intro by the disc’s engineer and co-producer Dave Villani; here Watson explores temptation and the struggle between good and evil, with Villani’s dark mid-song organ interlude providing extra color and depth. Naildriver’s agitated performances attack from start to end. The guitars snarl, and Botteicher’s scorching guitar leads slice with surgical precision. Watson rages with savage abandon; his rapid fire bark shows no mercy. The mix and production enable Naildriver’s attack to authoritatively pound, rip and tear; the sound is clean and razor sharp. The White Devil Chronicles Volume 1 offers power metal that connects with the jaw from the get-go; Naildriver’s heavy-hitting calling card will make fans of the metal arts eager for more where this came from. (The CD can be purchased through Naildriver’s website,www.naildrivermetal.com.)