When Nocturno Culto hails your band as a champion of the underground, you know you're doing something right. In fact, Culto and Fenriz like these fellows in OLD so much that they made them the second signing to their Tyrant Syndicate Productions imprint on Peaceville and have put out the band's debut album, "Down With The Nails." The press sheet says "no swirling majestic keyboards and over-polished production here, guaranteed!" and let me tell you, the boys don't lie. This is old school - OLD school, as it were.
Right when "Black Jewel Throne" kicks in, you can tell that this album is Black Metal to the core, but without falling prey to contemporary conceptions of the genre. OLD seem to agree with the current DARKTHRONE mindset in that their vision of Black Metal has a huge dose of Punk Rock swagger mixed in, as well as the occasional Thrash bit. The drums are simple, never taking center stage and often raging DISCHARGE-style, while the bass pretty much always follows the catchy riffage. Vocally, we're treated to a rather proficient rasp by frontman Reaper, who carries enough anachronistic bile in his words to satisfy any fans of this style.
OLD aren't doing anything new, but they are doing a damn good job of paying tribute to old BATHORY, CELTIC FROST, DARKTHRONE, SODOM, POSSESSED, VENOM and the rest of that vile brood. "Down With The Nails" is a very simple yet very mean, kick-your-ass-and-spit-in-your-face Punk Rock Black Metal record. Throwback or not, this is solid and comes recommended. Listen and scream for Hell! (Online October 4, 2006)