Temple Of Dread – Beyond Archeron6th November 2023
Pleń – Przechrzta8th November 2023
Label: Old Temple / Release Date: 2022 (Re-releases)
Nunslaughter is, put quite simply, one of the original Death Metal acts and, as far as I can tell, one of the oldest still active as well. Tracing their origin back to the US in the mid to late ninteeen eighties, they originally went by the name Death Sentence – That is, until the (then) trio settled on the now infamous Nunslaughter moniker. As is often the case when a band has been active for nearly four decades, the band has undergone quite a few line-up changes, to the point that the lead singer – Don Of The Dead – Is the sole founding member remaining.
That being said however, Nunslaughter has remained a consistently strong Death Metal act throughout their career with numerous Full-lengths, Demos, EP’s and live albums under their belt with their varying line-ups (the current one sporting four US-based musicians, each one as experienced as the last).
Now if I come across a bit vague or even obtuse as to the specific nature of Hells Unholy Fire then I can assure you that is by no means a coincidence – While it may technically be a new release due to the overall composition that makes up this double album, in reality it is a composite of the original Hells Unholy Fire released on one CD, with what appears to be the live album An Evening At War as the second record (or at the very least the same setlist played live in Ohio back in the late nineteen nineties) – Albeit with the rough cut of the Hells Unholy Fire EP thrown in for good measure. What this means in practice is that this is, effectively, a time capsule for what Nunslaughter sounded and played like; And even gives quite a few glimpses of what the Death Metal scene (at the time shaped by both abovementioned band, Obituary, Suffocation and Bolt Thrower) was like back in the day (if you will forgive me the Megadeth reference, even if that is hardly the scene he was refering to). In this particular instance I am specifically thinking about the live version of ”I Am Death” on the B-album where the lead singer ends the track by complaining the the monitor is too low for him to hear himself – Then, without skipping a beat, picking the pace right back up.
All in all, what does this mean? Aside from being quite literally unable to bring anything new for the table due to the nature of the album and therefore this release will already be in several hardcore Nunslaughter fans’ collection (even more so, since the individual tracks do not even seem to have been remastered). Nevertheless, I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, and this new version of Hells Unholy Fire at least gave me the chance to fill out a few holes in my record collection that I normally would be unable to, due to the sheer age and unavailability of these releases in my country of origin.
On top of that, I can only appreciate that Bato, my boss, then gave me an excuse to listen to Nunslaughter for over an hour straight when I sat down to review this release.
So, in order to sum up this little rambling, I feel obligated to point out that, by its very definition, Nunslaughter still holds up this time around – After all, how couldn’t it? It is quite literally three re-releases merged into one, recorded back in their prime. And that sadly constitutes the relatively low review score pictured below. Nothing new brought to the table, no innovations, no new tracks added – Hell, even the artwork is the same. But luckily for me, I like the old versions – Especially the rough cuts.