Intrinsic – Nails



Although the album is already out for a while, I found it interesting enough to still review it for our site. The band already released an LP called ‘Intrinsic’ in 1987 and an EP in 1990 called ‘Distortion Of Perspective’. They started with their self-financed album ‘Nails’ but stopped and put it on the shelves for nearly 25 years. According to the infosheet, the band started with a big throwback because the band’s sole master recording DAT had degraced since it was last used. Fortunately, the Original engineer had preserved the session reels and so a brand new mix was created from scratch. The band raised money via crowdfunding to finance these extra costs and this release is the result.

From scratch you hear that the songs are written in the nineties and they also created a sound reminding of albums produced in that period. This gives me a nice remembrance back to those days. A time when albums of bands like Death Angel, Toxic, Laaz Rockit, Watchtower and stuff like that were regular listening stuff for me. The music is eighties (Bay Area) (power) thrash with lots of progressive elements. Vocalist Lee Dehmer has the typical singing style similar to singers of  Death Angel, Sanctuary, Toxic and Laaz Rockit. High singing with aggressive raw edges every now and then.

The riffs are chuggy and galloping and the tempos vary a lot. But there is more, the band also uses influences from the 70’s with Led Zeppelin kind of accoustic guitar parts in “Inner Sanctum”. The soft track “Mourn For Her” reminds a bit of Rush. In the softer parts, Lee shows that he is a very good singer reminding of a young Rob Halford. Halfway throughm, “On Gossamer Wings” and  especially parts of “Mourn For Her”, certain vocal parts remind me of ‘Stained Class’ times. In another soft song, “Inner Sanctum”, there are nice violins and together with the strong vocals, this is yet another fine track. On the other hand, heavier songs like “Fight No More” remind a bit of Iron Maiden, “State Of the Union” has Laaz Rockit riffs, “Die Trying” is full of Sanctuary influences, midtempo track “Pillar of Fire” is Forbidden combined with Iced Earth etc etc. “Too Late, But Not Forgotten” is again a very heavy song with Warrel Dane singing style and Forbidden, Laaz Rockit and Heathen influences.

All these styles sound great when combined and by adding a lot of technical parts and tempo changes, the band created an album that every old school progressive thrash fan will certainly like. With “Dazed & Confused” they also show that they are capable of playing a nice cover (Led Zeppelin) without messing up the song. All musicians are technically skilled and the solos stick to the songs. There is only one thing that irritates me about the album and that is the rank of the songs. The second half of the album has too much softer songs and that makes the first part more interesting. Perhaps they should have put some more softer songs in the first part. Also, the last track is confusing, they tried to create a funny song with trumpets and big band elements based on Mordred riffs. A track like “The Vicious Circle” represents one of the weaker moments as well. The first half of the album is great, the second part a bit weaker, but in general nice listening stuff.

Without these mistakes, the album would have scored even higher, but it certainly is worth listening, especially when you dig a lot of variation.


01. State Of the Union
02. Fight No More
03. Die Trying
04. On Gossamer Wings
05. Pillar Of Fire
06. Mourn For Her
07. The Vicious Circle
08. Denial
09. Yikes!
10. Inner Sanctum
11. Dazed & Confused
12. Too Late, But Not Forgotten
13. Cannabis Sativa

Playing time: 72:00

Release date: 21 August, 2015

Label: Divebomb Records


About Reinier de Vries 188 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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