Wednesday, March 12, 2008

G&P review: Nasum

Three years after frontman Miesko Talarcyk’s untimely death during the 2004 Pacific tsunami and only 2 two more years after the be all, end all two disc collection Grind Finale, the dearly departed grind phenoms Nasum pull a lazarus on this powerful but problematic live collection.
Drummer Anders Jakobson culled 16 tracks from a live performance at Jan. 9, 2004, show at Club Quattro in Osaka, Japan, to show those of us who never got to see the band in a live setting just how much we missed.
Though recorded with the Shift line up of Talarcyk/Jakobson/Urban Skytt/Jon Lindqvist, Doombringer pulls heavily from Nasum’s masterpiece, Helvete, but includes cuts from across the discography, including a track from pre-Relapse EP Industrislaven.
Live soundman Bo Lund’s work, touched up by grind guru Scott Hull, is clear, forceful and energetic as fuck. The guitars bite through the mix, Talarcyk screams his balding head off and Jakobson proves he was no slouch behind the kit, even if he abdicates his vocals to Talarcyk and Linqvist.
But for all the care obviously put into the album sonically, its very existence is troubling.
As it turns out, the album is not a simple live set recording. In the brief liner notes, Anders Jakobson admits the set list was rearranged and some songs were axed entirely. Instead, we’re treated to an a la carte sampling of Nasum in a live setting.
The only extra offered on the disc is Napalm Death's Mitch Harris’ video for Helvete’s “Scoop,” but if that is supposed to be an enticement, you could just as easily save $15.
And that’s the crux of the problem. Nothing on Doombringer offers any new insight in Nasum’s existence. The whole album would have fit snugly in the Grind Finale collection, possibly in a limited edition three disc set.
Sadly, Doombringer reeks of cashing in on a titanic band’s vital legacy. Instead of memorializing a grindcore martyr cut down in his prime, this just all too poignantly reminds us what we collectively lost Dec. 26, 2004.

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