Grind pioneers Nausea return with more societal disgust on ‘Condemned to the System’

Nausea band

I spend the bulk of my winters trying to avoid nausea like a crazy person. Seriously, hand washing until my skin is dry and bleeding, sanitizing my hands even if they’re full of the cuts I acquired from washing too much, and wiping down everything in the house just in case there’s something lurking that could turn my stomach. It’s like a job.

Yet here I am, walking head first into Nausea, though this version’s most welcome and a lot of fun. The one I speak of is the long-standing grind and death pioneers of the same name who finally have a new record for us just days in 2014. Of course, just because the band has been sickening metal fans the world over since 1987, we haven’t gotten a ton of material from these bastards, who basically helped develop the template so many bands today follow. Their debut full-length “Crime Against Humanity” dropped way back in 1991, back around the time Metallica lost their balls, and ever since then, we’ve only gotten a bunch of demos and some compilations (as well as live shows). But now their second album “Condemned to the System” is here, and it’s like these guys never really went away in the first place.

CD BookletReleased by Willowtip Records, “Condemned” finds the band lashing out at societal and political targets such as religion and corporations, and they’ve not lost an ounce of their fire and disgust that made them what they are. The record contains a bunch of brand new tracks fresh from whatever anger and frustration they’ve been storing over the years but also has some selections that are older jams or unreleased from their lifetime creating chaos together. Together, they make for a cohesive, punishing release that should get your gears moving and your fists ready to damage things in your house. Watch out for glass.

Today’s Nausea lineup contains longtimers Oscar Garcia (formerly of Terrorizer and the band’s origin group Majesty) on guitars and vocals, as well as drummer Eric Castro (also of Majesty). Joining them are guitarist Leon del Muerte (his impressive resume includes bands such as Dreaming Dead, Murder Construct, Intronaut, Exhumed, and way more) and bassist/vocalist Alejandro Corredor (Dia de los Muertos, Pounder, and Chemical Bitches), who certainly know how to bring the pain and misery like the guys who helped form this thing. The band sounds hungry and ready to take shit down on this record, and it’s a thrill to have this band back to show the rest of their followers how this is done.

We open with “Freedom of Religion,” a crunchy, fast, bruising track that mixes barked growls along with shrieked vocals. And then we’re off and right into “Does God Need Help?” one of their older tracks they revisit, given a destructive, thrashy update that is both heavy and miserable. “World Left in Confinement” is speedy and splattering, with growly vocals, raging playing, and bruising intent. OK, I know some of these details seem a little brief, but this record maintains an intensity that keeps ripping you through from track to track, so a lot of the songs have similar identities but still maintain their own evil intent that sets them apart. Anyway, we’re then onto “Cries of Pain,” a song that begins hinting at doom but then rips open with raw savagery and clubbing grind. “Hate and Deception” lives up to its name, opening with more thrashing goodness before dissolving into total speed, throaty growls, and some really great lead guitar lines you don’t often find in this genre. Really nice touch.

“Corporation Pull In” has drums that explode all over the place, with blasts that meet fiery riffs and more throat-mangling vocals. “Fuck the World,” another callback to the past, is perfectly blistering, with a catchy death metal groove, raspy vocals, metallic galloping, and swirling guitar soloing that’ll leave you dizzy. Revisited “Falsely Accused” is crunchy and mashing and even settles more toward classic punk territory when it comes to the guitar work. “Condemn Big Business” also has been available in previous form, and here it is relentless, destructive, unforgiving, and impossibly heavy, further satisfying anyone’s need for speed. “And We Suffer” has more rock-solid riffs, blast eruptions, and a tempo that trucks forward, not caring who might get chewed up along the way. There are creaky, demonic shrieks, monstrous growls later in the song, and a sense that you’ve been absolutely devastated by this band. It’s a nice feeling, oddly. They close up shop with another reworked older cut “Absence of War,” a punk/hardcore-style smasher that lets loose one final burst of violence to make certain you have gotten your money’s worth and that you might not be moving around for a few days.

So, OK, I may fear the sensation of nausea, and maybe this band can provide some of that sickening churning, but taking on this group is always worth the abuse. This stellar new lineup, awesome album, and further threats to be maimed live makes for a great start to this year. These guys haven’t pulled a punch yet, and they certainly don’t on this 11-track, 29-minute record that could help you fall in love with classic grindcore all over again.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

For more on the label, go here: