As far as I can tell, and my German is surprisingly flakey given the number of German bands I listen to, Nashorn is the name of a fairly intimidating piece of anti-tank artillery from World War II. Now, if the Blitzkrieg had move at this pace I suspect it would never have left Berlin never mind reached the Volga. The original meaning, rhinoceros, makes a bit more sense. Nashorn, actually from Finland, is nothing if not a heads down, irrepressible, force of nature. Direct and virtually unwavering.
I say virtually because in essence the band is an ultra slow death machine from the Bolt Thrower school but with a difference. The difference being that there are various slightly spacey, prog rock guitar interludes that drop in unannounced just when you thought things were getting nice and predictable. The first EP, released a year ago, almost verges on the melodic (I said almost) particularly on tracks like Long Return March – the glorious six and-a-half minute title track which rounds things off and sounds not unlike a slowed down Amon Amarth. But this latest one is more a straight down the line in your face pulsing death metal. But as I said there are strings attached to these head-banging Fins. First up on this three track EP, their second in two years, is the staple I Give You Death, a down-tempo warm-up to get heads banging, or at least nodding appreciatively. Second track Ghouls begins to shrug off the shackles. The bulldozing guitars and the low low vocals are still the principle driving force – for the first half at least. Then we slip into a trance-like sound bereft of all the growling anger as some fairly mellow guitar picking takes over. The third track, and title track, brings the first two together in a seven minute finale with more chugging and more trancey guitar work.
Maggots to Devour the World is certainly not a step on from the last release but more a direct showcase for Nashorn’s sound. All pretty good and with a suggestion that these guys heads are up to something more than emulating their heroes or just replicating death metal sounds of yesteryear. Not quite ready to blow apart a T-34 in a frontal assault but thoroughly enjoyable and it makes me wonder what they could do if they were offered some support and a full release to play with.
(7.5/10 Reverend Darkstanley)