NAIL
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NAIL

London, Ontario, Canada | SELF

London, Ontario, Canada | SELF
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http://www.metalreviews.com/reviews/detail.php3?id=5118 - MetalReviews.com



Nail – Nail (2007)
Label: Self-Produced
Review by Mortuai

The name Nail may be relatively new in the world of metal, but the core members of the group are certainly no strangers to the music business. Vocalist C (a.k.a. Cindy Wiechmann) and guitarist/bassist/vocalist/producer/who knows what else Rhino (a.k.a. Rainer Wiechmann) were the founders of Newfoundland's hard rock/metal group KAOS, who recorded two albums in the mid-to-late 80's before relocating to London, Ontario. KAOS vanished off the map soon after, but Cindy and Rainer eventually resurfaced as members of Canada's hard rock legends Helix in the early 2000's. After their departure from Helix in 2006, they founded Nail, releasing their debut album in October of 2007.

The group is, as you would expect considering they're being reviewed on this site, female-fronted metal, but if the words 'gothic,' 'epic,' or 'soprano' crossed your mind for an instant, you're not even close. Nail is hard-edged groove-laden blues-based rock/metal with an occasional nod to the progressive à la Tool. Cindy's voice is powerful, energetic, and brimming with attitude, a perfect match for Rainer's heavy, driving guitar riffs and strong, solid bass lines. The closest equivalent I can think of to her vocal style would be a slightly higher-pitched and somewhat less rough-edged version of Kate French during the Chastain days.

Production on the disc is stellar, which isn't surprising given Rainer owns his own studio and has produced and engineered albums for groups like Thine Eyes Bleed, Kittie, Blood Of Christ, and, of course, Helix. Upon first listen, I will say I was wondering for a short time if this really was meant to be in my review pile for this site, as Rainer's decently-melodic but heavily-compressed vocals dominate most of opening cut 'No Way Out' with Cindy playing more of a backup role. While it's not a bad song by any stretch of the imagination, it's a bit of a head-scratcher as a choice for a leadoff, as it's not nearly as energetic or interesting as much of what follows. Musically, though, it does give a nice sample of what's to come with all instruments shining through strongly in the mix and a fine example of Rainer's tasty rock-oriented Michael-Schenker-esque guitar soloing serving as punctuation.

Had the entire album continued in the vein of this track, I might've labeled it 'good, but nothing great.' Fortunately, beginning with second cut 'Don't Say It,' the vocal roles are reversed and the album shifts gears from just stepping along to strutting, with the music settling into a heavy midtempo groove and Cindy belting out the lyrics, her voice generating some skin-shivering moments in a few places and positively dripping with conviction and energy the whole way. It gets even better on following track 'Little White Lie,' where the band moves from strut to full-blown swagger, and peaks on the album's best song, 'Right Now,' which features truly impassioned vocal lines as well as emotive lead guitar and acoustic passages interspersed with the anthemic choruses and even contains a bit of an interesting stylistic experiment in the inclusion of a bagpipe outro from Rob and Sandy Campbell of The Mudmen.

There are a few other little 'experiments' on the remainder of the disc, some of which work really well and some of which only work semi-well. The former includes the Tool-esque bass meanderings on 'Let Me Out' and the latter includes the male vocals on the same track, which are delivered by Rainer in an angry rap as opposed to his usual melodic style. The fact that I actually still kind of like those vocals even though I generally detest rap speaks volumes about how good the overall product is in my book. While none of the other tracks quite get to the level of excellence found in the album's first third, there isn't a bad song on the disc. Special mention should be given to two songs which may serve as anthems for ladies who have become a little...or a lot...frustrated with members of the opposite gender, namely the addictively menacing 'Spider' and the sneering-yet-fun 'F.O.A.D.'...the latter half of which stands for 'And Die.' I'll leave you to figure out the first half on your own.

'Don't say it if you don't mean it - honesty means everything' advises one lyrical line. So I say it and I mean it: Nail is overall an excellent release with only a few flaws marring its surface. Great rock grooves, a bit of a progressive edge here and there, excellent rock guitar solos, and vocals swathed in attitude and conviction. If that sounds appealing to you, I highly recommend you give them a spin.

And while you're at it, drop by one of their shows and ask 'em to play 'March Of The Gremlins.' I bet they'll laugh.

Rating: 9.0/10
- Femme Metal Webzine


Cindy Wiechmann, lead singer for Canadian newcomers NAIL, has been singing for a long time since she was a kid. "I was lucky enough to be a part of a musical family," explains the lovely Cindy. "Most of my family either sung or played there was always instruments around the house. I became more involved with singing after high school when I joined my first rock band and then I was hooked."
Cindy met Rainer in 1982 and the pair have been involved in a number of projects over the years. "Nail has been one of the most rewarding, creatively and musically. Singing has always been my passion, I've I always felt that this is what I was meant to do.'
The selftitled album from Nail was a labour of love for both Cindy and Rainer. They had the chance to just let it flow and both feel these are strongest songs they have worked on in years. "This album is driving with a lot of energy, in fact there are no tracks one could consider a 'ballad', it's all pretty much in your face from start to finish."
Rhino (Rainer Wiechmann) produced the CD at Mole studios. "He has worked with a lot of the local rock groups over the years, in varying capacities as engineer/producer for Kittie, Thine Eyes Bleed, Blood of Christ and many others. The last two Helix albums were also recorded at Mole Studios." The reaction to NAIL has been very good. "We have had very positive feed back so far! Since the release in late October 2007. The CD has been listed in several 'writer's choice' forums such as # 5 in the Sweden Rock Magazine for top 10 best albums of 2007, plus we have had an over- whelming response from our fans and media, with requests coming in everyday from radio stations allover the US, UK and Europe. We are very excited and look forward to the future."
The band have released the CD independently on their own label Mole Records. "We are currently hop- ing for a distribution deal but as for having a major record label behind us we are able to do what we do without their backing, so far. For the time being, the CD and other 'NAIL gear' is only available through our website at www.nailband.com. Being owners of a recording studio allows us to record without incurring the cost of owing some major label money and I personally like it that way. We are also able to record what we want when we want and not have someone tell us who we should be. I'm very happy being an independent artist. Rhino and I have released a few indie albums in the past with other projects and we have always been able to be true to our fans and ourselves. There's nothing better than having your fans tell you they enjoy your tunes and knowing that the tunes reflect you as an artist."
Cindy doesn't rule out shows for the band either. "We are currently in rehearsal with our new bassist, and gearing up for some shows this coming summer. As you can probably tell, the music of NAIL is best suited to larger venues, festival stages, etc and although we are a new band, we see ourselves as a concert group right out of the gate. The focus is on securing dates that will allow us to present the kind of show our audience will expect from us, so it's unlikely that we will be seen at a bar near you anytime soon. Ideally, this is where some label support might make the difference. It would simplify the process of getting on a bill as support for an established act, and make some doors easier to open, but the industry as a whole is changing rapidly and rules are made to be broken or simply don't apply anymore."
'The music business is a very bumpy road, you may have a lot of ups and downs along the way but if in your heart you truly love what you do, simply, DO IT. I've met a lot of people over the years, and even today, who have told me I should be singing a different style of mu- sic because of my age or simply because I'm a woman ...that maybe I should sing country or something where women are more accepted. You know what I say? 'FOAD', just like track II. I say just do what you believe and enjoy, never take other peoples criticisms to seriously. not everyone is going like what you do. Work hard and play even harder, someone will notice."
Nail are a fantastic band check them out at the link above and via www.myspace.com/nailtheband
- Fireworks Magazine


October 2007
Released: 2007, Mole Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Celtic Bob

Heavy Metal guitar and jaw dropping vocals are just 2 of the ways that you can describe this disc of pure progressive metal music. The soul and backbone to this project are probably most known throughout the world for their stint with Canadian metallers Helix BUT to some of us they will always be known for KAOS. KAOS was the premier metal band back in the 80’s in NL, Canada most known for their song “March of the Gremlins”. This song was an instrumental on their debut LP TOTAL KAOS which every metal fan should try to locate. It had such a distinct guitar riff that made it easily recognizable. Even to this day fans in NL still remember the riff and want to hear it as was quite evident back in ’04 when Helix last played here with Rainer and Cindy in the band.



The songs are heavier than anticipated which quite a surprise and a relief to hear. If you are thinking that they are a metal band with female vocals then you are correct. If you are expecting to hear Lacuna Coil/Evanessence style music then you are sadly mistaken. This is distinct and quite refreshing. There is a slight bit of a Black Label Society influence on a couple of tracks. On “Don’t Say It” Rainer’s backgrounds are somewhat reminiscent of some of Zakk Wylde’s on a few of the BLS stuff in a couple of spots. The other place he does do a bit of harmonics on guitar but not to the extreme Zakk extent. Rainer is a phenomenal guitar player in his own right and you will easily see that upon first listen to this disc. On “Right Now” there is a really cool and unexpected part where he switches to acoustic for a moment. This song ends with a unique piece of bagpipe playing courtesy of the Campbell Brothers of The Mudmen. It is too bad that the ending chops off way too quick instead of letting the pipe drones just fade on their own.



Cindy has one of the greatest voices you will hear. She has such a strong voice that keeps getting better as the years go on. She hits some amazing notes on “Little White Lie“ that just makes the hair on the back of your neck just stand up, she IS that good. Hearing her gradually build up and then just nail the insanely high note is just phenomenal. The only complaint here is that it is a bit too low in the mix and should be brought to the forefront a bit more. There is no studio fuckery used to create it, she can just belt it out so the whole disc will be recreated live without backing tracks. The song “Fuck Off and Die” is the most surprising song on the album. Hearing Cindy sing the lyrics is just different and indescribable (in a good way). She does let it rip with anger and emotion and really gets into it (as she does on all the songs). This heavy rocker is destined to become a band crowd favorite.



All 11 tracks on this disc are true classic style metal with some killer distorted guitar works and a progressive edge that hit you in the face and vocals that make your hair stand up as your jaw hits the floor. All the disc needs is for another Gremlin to rear its head and march with the band to the top. - Metal Rules Magazine


Discography

NAIL /NAIL 2007
NAIL/Power and Greed 2010
NAIL/ ALIVE 2012

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Bio

Nail is a Canadian progressive heavy rock/metal band. After spending several years performing with Canadian multi-platinum recording artists Helix, Nail was formed in 2007 by Rainer and Cindy Wiechmann after their departure from that group. Nail presents a sound that is a considerable departure from the ‘80s “Hair Metal” rock sounds one would associate with Helix, having roots and influences more likely associated with groups like Rush, Black Sabbath, and Tool. Stylistically Nail is difficult to categorize as there are few if any groups that combine these elements with female vocals, effectively putting the group into a category of their own.
2007 saw the release of the first self-titled album which was met with many positive reviews and made its way onto several “best of” lists from international reviewers. Catchy musical hooks and lyrics combined with skilled musicianship and arrangements that are “progressive” in nature but still easily accessible set the standard for the “Nail” sound. The live concert performances also include co-ordinated video presentations which combine into a sensational entertainment experience.
May 2010 saw the release of the band’s sophomore album, “power and greed”, which continues in this vein, and so far has seen excellent reviews. Produced and engineered by producer/Nail guitarist, Rainer Wiechmann, whose many past studio credits include associations with artists, such as Kittie, Helix, Blood of Christ, Thine eyes Bleed, and dozens of independent releases over the past 20 years.
Latest release “ALIVE”, recorded live in London, Ontario Canada proves to be a great collection of NAIL material performed live with a total of 20 tracks, with one track being a studio remake of the Rush song “red barchetta”. This brand new cd has been hailed as one of London’s top 10 cd’s released in 2012 by the London Free Press. Nail is currently writing new material for their forth release due out in 2013. Although the Nail lineup consists of veterans of internationally successful recording/touring acts, the group is currently unsigned and remains independently managed. NAIL official website is www.nailband.com