Sometimes you just know, y’know?
That classic first line of a story that captures you from the first words; that perfect opening scene of a film that reels you in and keeps you hooked for the duration; that first sip of great wine; that first bite of a beautifully prepared meal; that first meeting with someone special…
I’m waxing heavily romantic now, and maybe a bit too much so… but, no, really, not all that much too much.
Because Expulsion is the kind of band that immediately gets my interest piqued, and Nightmare Future is the kind of record that backs up the anticipation by sinking its teeth in from the first few riffs and absolutely setting my world alight for its entire running time.
Those who believe in predestination (or perhaps those who just know my tastes) will point out that they could’ve seen this coming. Expulsion is, after all, the cleverly named meeting of two Matts – vocalist Harvey from Exhumed and guitarist Olivo of Repulsion – plus drummer extraordinaire Danny Walker (Intronaut, Phobia) and bassist Menno Verbaten (Lightning Swords Of Death). Way back about a million years ago, Repulsion helped invent grindcore, releasing one album – the absolute must-own Horrified – and influencing the likes of Napalm Death, Carcass, and a host of others. In turn, Carcass influenced Exhumed, who’ve kept my interest since I first saw them nearly twenty years ago in some scummy Tennessee club, and with good reason – they’re not the most original band on earth, but they are very damn good at what they do. Put those two forces together – and toss in the (on-again, off-again) drummer from Phobia, whom I also love – and you’re guaranteed space in my playlist.
Of course, if you want to stay on my iPod, then you’ve got to earn your keep, and like I said, Nightmare Future totally does.
So when did I know this was gonna kick ass, you may ask? That first perfectly gnarly bass riff and then the near-blasting drive of the rest of “Total Human Genocide”: That’s all it took to hook me, and that doesn’t account for the killer “Funeral Bells,” or the blistering “Mask Of Fear,” or… any of the other nine minutes of this all-too-short EP. In the middle ground between death metal, thrash, and early grindcore, Nightmare Future is pretty much exactly what anyone would expect from the union of Exhumed and Repulsion, and it treads that overlap with grace, in perfectly placed drum pummeling and razor-sharp riffs, in Harvey’s snarling growl and Verbaten’s biting bass. There’s much to grab onto into the swirling, grinding storm: the simple cyclical riff that drives the verse of “Genocide,” the slowed-down chorus amidst the Master-like pounding of “Funeral Bells,” the almost melodic mid-section of “Altar Of Slaughter”…
At fourteen minutes long – split into half as many songs – the only complaint I could have about Nightmare Future is that it’s over before you know it. Nevertheless, if you have the slightest affinity for the raw and raucous crossroads of thrashing death and primal grind, then there’s plenty enough reasons to just push play again. And again. And again.
More of this, please. More of this.