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Music Review

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Artist: Video Nasties
Label: APF Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 March 2020

“The line between sanity and madness can be crossed in a single step.”

APF Records releases Dominion, the first full-length album by Death Metal/Punk band Video Nasties, on LP vinyl, CD, cassette and for digital download. The quintet hailing from Liverpool, Merseyside comprises Tommy Lloyd on guitar, Rick Owen on bass, Dave Archer on drums, Damian Von Talbot on vocals, and Stu Taylor on guitar – members of heavy exports such as Iron Witch, Magpyes, and The Bendal Interlude. The music is described as a mixture of Sepultura, Carcass and Entombed, with The Cure and The Cult. There is also the added element of the horror genre and in particular John Carpenter influences.

In the press release it mentions post punk, goth, rock, horror-metal, retro and all manner of other genres, but it would be more accurate to simplify it to metal, punk and rock riffs with soundtrack sound effects and voice-overs. I’m a huge enthusiast of John Carpenter’s films and soundtracks, so the very idea of paying tribute to the great man made me sit up and take notice – particularly when the 1980s influences were mentioned. However, if they’re there I can’t really detect them, although there is the simple but effective style of the music which, like Carpenter, hooks you in and builds atmosphere. There’s no ‘building’ here though, as the music of Video Nasties hits you round the head with a metaphorical hammer… in a really exciting way!

I’ve often mentioned that as I’ve got older my tastes have become heavier, with the prerequisite of energy and melody. Video Nasties could never be described as lacking either. There is a bell tolling and riff intro to 'Stay Gold', which incorporates a spooky horror voice-over with sound effects. This is a powerful guitar and drums-based song, which bursts from out of the blue like a demon poltergeist. The screamed vocals fit the horror packaging like a glove – one of Freddy Krueger’s gloves! This song doesn’t stick around, segueing into 'The Hanging Tree', a rocking, driving melody. With everything that is going on at the moment – around the world, and closer to home – this one immediately brought a smile to my face… and that’s worth its weight in gold.

'Helvetica' is a simple but heavy music riff. The vocals are more chorus for this one. Variation is the key as it has three sections but returns to its origins. 'Transvoltum' was the band’s first single, released back in 2017. It has melodic chords and riff, and a motoring heavy rock sound. 'Red of Night' has a rock intro, before breaking through into metal in a split second. It periodically returns to the rock melody but much more forcefully now. This switch back and forth works well. A nice clean vocal sequence too. 'Viva Deth' was the band’s second single, which also appeared on their 2018 album demo. This has a nicely put together acoustic intro with off-kilter sound effects. This one will drag you along for the ride with guitar and vocals complimenting each other. There’s a chunky verse and catchy chorus. It has almost symphonic-style guitar. A notable track. I can see why it was a single.

'Drone Eagle' is powerful and cleverly misleading in its direction, with a nice guitar break. If it’s not a contradiction in terms, this is feel good horror music. By the time we get to 'Stabbing Nightmare', the feeling is that some may consider this album ‘samey’ – but there are subtle differences. It’s very melodic, with changes in tempo and lots of horror inserts. 'Dominion' has quite an original buzzing, ringing intro, and the exclaimed quote, “He tried to kill me!” It’s accompanied by a keyboard sequence. Obviously, this works as a bridge or insert between tracks, which goes straight into… 'They Ride' concludes this offering; a full band effort incorporating screamed verses and a clean vocal chorus. There’s a twin guitar melody which isn’t too dissimilar to 1980s Iron Maiden. I like the way this returns to a guitar-only riff before breaking back in with a full brutal band assault. There is a nice driving guitar solo, too. The song ends to a repeated record-jumping voice-over with accompanying organ: “Let the dead bury the dead.”

There are chunky chord mid-sections prevalent to many songs, as if utilised to get you used to the song before the next section – the thought possibly being that too much of an onslaught in one go might blow your mind. This album, in my eyes (or ears!), is pretty near perfect, with real zing, thrust and joy, regardless of the horror subject matter. So much so I might seek out the CD version for my collection (because I’m old-fashioned like that!).


Ty Power

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