A couple of months ago I was contacted by one of the guys in the Power/Thrash Metal band INTRINSIC. Some of you may remember them from years past and some of you may not. No matter, the point is their self-titled debut was released in 1987 and after two subsequent records in 1990 and 1995 the group went away, only to reactivate in 2013. They have been actively writing some new music but in the meantime they decided to unearth a previously unreleased gem in the form of Nails. Originally recorded in 1992 this album was put out by Divebomb Records at the end of 2015. It’s really a shame the record sat on a shelf for so long because it is honestly quite good.
The songs merge power and thrash expertly, the riffs are heavy as Hell, and this is by and large a headbanger’s paradise. Opener “State of the Union” is proof positive of this. Next track “Fight No More” brilliantly displays some dual lead guitars from Mike Mellinger and Garrett Craddock as the song climbs higher and higher on a staircase to the unknown. Vocalist Lee Dehmer is very powerful on this one as well as “Die Trying” which would have been huge had it been released back in the day. This one is like IRON MAIDEN on steroids!
“On Gossamer Wings” is one of three tracks clocking in at over seven minutes in length and the band comes at you in full gallop with swords drawn and ready for blood. My personal favorite is the equally lengthy “Denial.” From the layered vocal harmonies to the guitar melodies and heaviness on the verses this is such a killer tune that it’s one I have to repeat several times before moving on. “Pillar of Fire” brings the heavy in high dosage and Dehmer sounds as locked in as any vocalist I’ve ever heard. Things slow down considerably on “Mourn For Her”, which quite frankly sounds like a B-side from JUDAS PRIEST during the Sad Wings of Destiny sessions.
The twin guitar attack is strong on “Too Late But Not Forgotten” and the band sounds fired up and pissed off, making this another great track. The vocal harmonies are also fantastic. Instrumental “Yikes!” has some cool twists and turns and shows off everyone’s chops nicely. Overall I think INTRINSIC is a great band with a ton of talent. And while a couple of songs didn’t exactly set me on fire, for the most part Nails is a very good record. I still can’t believe this was never released. I’m also very curious to see what they come up with next now that they’ve reconvened. I strongly urge everyone to give this one a listen; you’ll definitely dig it.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Denial”, Pillar of Fire”, “Die Trying”, “Fight No More”, “On Gossamer Wings”