Seeking Justice in a Criminal Way
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Nov. 25, 2016
"I don't give a fuck about your cause or your sympathy!" roars Nekrist front-beast Teddow on "Without Scars." Opening the local metal quartet's six-song Criminal record, the track's furiously downstroked riffs match sentiment to aggression. Despite low budget production, drummer Stevie drives the beat deep into the Earth with every hit, guitarist Massie squealing angrily between choruses as Teddow chews up every inch of scenery in expanding his lungs. Feel teeth gritting and veins popping with every thrash lick, blast beat, and breakdown. The band isn't here to drag us hell-ward, however. Though Teddow convincingly insists that "You're blistered! I'm blistered! We're all blistered!" ("Blistered"), Nekrist's onslaught lassos defiance, not nihilism. "Despite these reasons I still carry on!" claims the singer on "The Cost," pulling positivity out of what might otherwise be inchoate rage.