From an objective point of view, there are more religions in existence now—and that have been in existence for eons—than can possibly be true. Each with their own “hot take” on how mankind came to exist and what our purpose is; each one with a deity of their own, some similar and some different. Some are new—whether that’s within the last fifty or five hundred years—and some are as ancient as mankind.
So the question is: what do you believe?
If you’re asking me, I’m going to opt for potentially the newest and most radical among them; Realigion, the latest full-length records from Belgian beatdown experts, Nasty. Built by a love all things fold and ferocious, refined by years of experience and driven by an unquenchable bloodlust, Realigion is the culmination of the band’s infusion of arrogant, aggressive and heavy-handed hardcore with a more contemporary, metallic infrastructure that draws sparingly from death metal, thrash and even nu-metal and hip-hop at times to create a riveting whirlwind of wrathful bliss. If you’re torn between Gods, or sick of subjecting yourself to an empty sky, then Nasty have a record that is bound to break your chains and send your fists swinging.
There is nothing kind about Realigion. Much like Shokka and the releases before it, Nasty live up to their name—creating nothing more than pure, visceral, testosterone-laden aggression. Hitting hard with the brief-but-bold one-two punch of “F.Y.W.” And “Rock Bottom, ” the band waste little time when it comes to inoculating the listener with immolating aggression. Built on percussion that drives nails into the listener’s skull as if the percussionist played with sledgehammers, Realigion only barely slows down at key transitional points to let the listener catch their breath—otherwise, it’s an onslaught of songs like “Realigion” and “At Night” that combine bone-busting drumming with a low, lurid and dense bass that creates a low end thick enough to suffocate the listener with ease. Songs like “In Defeat” see the band driving forward with thrashy, more straightforward drumming and rambunctious, boisterous riffing. At points during Realigion—segments of “In Defeat” and “DRTY FNGRZ” channel sharper, more lacerating nu-metal influence alongside their more traditional elements of beatdown and heavy hardcore. Then, there are songs like “F.Y.W.,” which are just raunchy from start to finish, using gargantuan breakdowns to bewilder the listener in between straightforward and sinister segments of razor-wire riffing that cut deep into the listener and bleed them out by the time “Rock Bottom” even kicks in. Nasty are a fine-tuned machine when it comes to their instrumentation; they create heaviness in a second-to-non fashion, infusing beatdown hardcore with metallic and modern styles both, giving some tracks a rap-esque flow, while others cut deep as if they were coated in barbed wire.
Where Nasty’s instrumentation is a peerless example of eviscerating and energetic aggression, the band’s vocal element is right there along with it. Even through a thick accent and a foreign language—at times—there is no mistaking just how powerful Nasty’s raw, gruff vocals truly are. From the harsh, belted roars of “F.Y.W.” To the insane and intense mosh calls in “DRTY FNGRZ,” the group’s collective voice is one that simply cannot be shut down. Pushing through every bone-busting breakdown and gritty, ever-so-slightly slam-tinted beatdown and riff with callous lyrics and crushing, belligerent prowess, Nasty’s vocal element might not be game changing in its demeanor or range, but it certainly sparks an entire forest fire of rage within the listener’s ribcage that refuses to be put out. “Rock Bottom” is a gritty and raw example of this—while “At War with Love” is catchy and fun while still maintaining the band’s essential, punchy nature. Then, there are songs like “Babylon” and “Realigion,” where everything comes together—the vocals, the musicianship and the dismally devastating dynamic as a whole—and crashes down on the listener’s head, splitting their skull in twain.
Nasty stay true to their name and reputation—thoroughly nasty and oppressive without reprieve. A ruthless amalgam of good ol’ beatdown hardcore with some contemporary flair and crisp, sharp production, Realigion goes down smooth but proceeds to reduce the listener’s innards to chyme and pulp. While it might be a tough brief—especially considering the otherwise full-bodied nature of the band’s previous (albeit skit-laden) record, Shokka, Nasty’s latest effort is a more concentrated and comprehensive display of powerful, pissed-off brutality. Realigion is a riveting, energetic and eviscerating example of what happens when a band manages to keep it real in spite of a world in turmoil, recording a ravaging and rambunctious series of skull-busting hits that are bound to stand the test of time—something many heavy artists’ releases can only dream of.
For Fans Of: Lionheart, Wolfpack, These Streets, Bodysnatcher, Desolated
By: Connor Welsh