Track by track comments for: Shift

Written by Anders Jakobson

1. Particles

- When Mieszko and I were assembling "Shift" I was totally sure that "The Engine of Death" would start of the album, but Mieszko boldly suggested "Particles". That was a new thing for Nasum since we had always started our albums with a full on blast, a short track to wake everyone up and then progress to the "real" songs. "Particles" started of very slow and heavy and with a great growl by our guest singer Rogga Johansson. The clinging sound in the beginning is a mix between the bell on my ride cymbal and Mieszko hitting his mixing desk's legs with a monkey wrench. Anything for the grind!

2. The Engine of Death

- The first riff is very black metalish. I wrote it right after I bought "Chimera" by Mayhem, and after hearing some black metalish riff that Urban had made. I remember it as one of those songs that just wrote itself. It just came together. The verse riff is a variant of a midtempo Napalm Death riff from "Order of the Leech". I am very happy about Petter Freed's guitar solo and Rogga nailing the Bill Steer voice on the calmer section towards the end. One of my best songs ever.

3. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scar

- The working title for this song was "Old/new Napalm Death" since it combined the "Mentally Murdered" style with the new Napalm Death riffing style. Also the riff after the second chorus ends with the exact notes of "Seige of Power". Call me the riff thief! The title is another one of my witty ones but the lyrics are dead serious about domestic violence. That wasn't the intention when I started writing the lyrics with only the title and "count the scars in my eyes" on paper. Sometimes you never know where the words will lead you.

4. No Paradise for the Damned

- This is the only rerecording of a released track we've done for any of our albums. We didn't plan to record it, it just happened. We had talked about adding this song - originally from the Abstain split - to our liveset but never managed to really pick it out from the badly played and badly recorded original release. But somehow we came to talk about it during the "Shift" session and I went home and pushed myself to finally pick it out. So I did it and we recorded it, but it never made it into the liveset anyway.

5. Wrath

- "Wrath" is another one of those tracks that goes through a lot of stages before it finally finds its form. My original idea for the song was to have two different songs spliced together and lyrically have one voice doing the first half and another one doing the second. I dubbed it "Call and Response" and had an idea for the lyrics. But it came to a point where I said; fuck it, and cut the track in half, reworked the first half into "Wrath" and the other half into a song that went through a lot of stages until it became "Ingenting" on "Grind Finale". I think the working title for "Wrath" was "Carcass Slayer" and I guess you can figure out why when you hear it.

6. Fear is Your Weapon

- A short song that is introduced by a sample that we found on a webpage with alternative media. We were ordered by the record company not to use samples since there's always a risk doing that. We felt that samples, although being a cliché, had a natural place on our albums since they worked as not only filling a space between the songs but also connecting the lyrics. The alternative resources we used offered quite a lot of interesting things that fitted with the overall theme of shift and change and also fitted some of the songs very well.

7. The Deepest Hole

- This is a great song written by Jon. It was the first song he showed for us and I immediately fell in love with his writing style - it felt like a mix between Mieszko's style and my style (like how I once felt about Jesper's writing). The working title was "the Kyuss ending" due to the groovy ending.

8. High on Hate

- One day I got the message that a friend of my girlfriend had gotten pretty beat up by some fascists for no known reason other than he was a punk. That type of violence upsets me the most. My friend didn't do anything to provoke this beating, he just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Originally I thought of being overly clear and call the song "When Peter Got His Face Smashed In" or something like that, but "High on Hate" was a catchier title. The song is another try to mimic that high speed mosh riffing that Napalm Death do so well. Quite intense and the accents are really weird.

9. Pathetic

- Mieszko loved writing rhythmic grindparts where I was asked to mark the rhythm with accents on my China cymbal. The intro for "Pathetic" is quite alike the chorus of "Scoop", another one of Mieszko's songs... I like how this song ends. Mieszko always wrote good non grind/crust parts, some that was neccessary in Nasum's music to keep the variety alive.

10. Circle of Defeat

- This song were totally written in the studio.It was in between takes of two songs that Mieszko said that he wanted to write a song with a very heavy riff but never came to do it. I was heading for the bathroom so I told him to write while I was away. Said and done - the track was finished when I came back. A short blast and then a Bolt Throwerish mosh riff and then it was over. I know that Mieszko rewrote the blastriff before recording the real guitars, but as we listened to the track we felt it was basically over before it started, so we actually copied the Bolt Thrower part and recorded a new part in between the first and second Bolt Thrower part. This method of songwriting was really appealing (I mean creating in the studio) so that was something we thought of doing more of in the future.

11. Like Cattle

- Another great track from Jon. Jon brought in some new influences in Nasum like that groovy NYHC break towards the end that makes you wanna be right in the pit going crazy! Again, the variety of the songwriting in Nasum was one of the best things with the band.

12. Ros

- Can you hear how the bell of my ride cymbal strikes through in the first verse? It's not an overdub or a special effect - it's called good mikes and a good cymbal! Hehe! We called this track "Symmetric" when we wrote it as the song goes from part A to B to C to B to A and then stops. The C part, if you get me, had a different drum beat originally which made it a cool part but also made it slow down the whole song although the tempo was the same. So we experimented and came up with this samba kind of beat. I did not have time to properly write the part so I just improvised and it sounded OK enough to keep.

13. The Smallest Man

- I remember laughing out loud when I heard this song with vocals for the first time - to begin a song with "You're such a whore!" is really provocative. Well, who is the smallest man, the whore? George W Bush of course! This song is great with lots of parts that were funny to play. The stompy intro, the intense blast after the second chorus and the groovy shit in the end. I love it.

14. Cornered

- The working title for this song was "Napalm Factory" due to the harmonic riff/chord in the chorus which reminded us about both end of the 90's Napalm Death and Fear Factory. I love the sound of that riff/chord. "Cornered" almost didn't make it to the album, but it was one of the last songs picked for it.

15. Strife

- This song actually has an excerpt from the "Knightrider" theme, you know that crazy action show with David Hasselhoff! There's this little melody in the chorus that is taken from the theme. Anyway - another great track from Mieszko. I like the variety of the verse part and how the song gets even more intense after the second chorus with the fast mosh beat and the closing blast.

16. The Clash

- I have always thought it's quite strange that anti-fascists can use violence to get their things done. I guess there's some point to it somewhere, but often I feel that it does more harm than good. This song is about the clash between two counterparts. The song is very moshy - I had a lot of fun writing the riffs for the song. I almost started headbanging playing my accustic guitar in the livingroom or bedroom.

17. Hets

- One of the best lyrics I have written. I haven't found a really good word for "hets" in English, maybe "hurry" or "frenzy" or a mix of them ("hurrzy"?). I spent a long time writing the lyrics and in the end they come out great. The song is very fast and both Mieszko and Urban had lots of trouble recording the guitars since the riff is really tricky. I took a lot of inspiration from Converge's "Jane Doe" album for parts of this song.

18. Closer to the End

- A little more thrash riffing in Nasum. Another funny song by Jon who proved to be a good riff thief just as Mieszko and I with this song since the last parts of sounds very much like Isis. I remember Jon saying that none of his other bands would have accepted such a theft, but we always felt that new influences only made our sound better and this addition expanded the Nasum sound another notch.

19. Fury

- "Fury" was originally written and recorded for "Helvete", but as we were putting the album together we felt that it didn't really fit the overall sound. The original working title was "Shadows 2" which indicates that it was a pretty melodic song, that unfortunately also was performed a little bit too slow, which was one of the reasons why it was omitted. It was never the less a really good song that deserved a second chance, so we brought it out of the vault to work a little bit more on it. Today only the verse and the chorus is the same from the original song, and the verse riff is even slightly changed to increase the feeling of speed, since the original riff was the reason why the song felt slow. Today I don't think anyone can complain about the tempo of "Fury", it's a really intense and fast song. The last couple of parts were actually a real bitch to play. You can hear the original version of "Fury" on "Grind Finale".

20. Fight Terror With Terror

- This song was the first one that got mixed for "Shift". I think it was easier for Mieszko to get the guitars right working with a slower song. I remember that we worked a lot with this song in the rehearsal room to shape it good. It went through some different stages during the development before we felt it was alright. I like how we experimented with the mix, making parts of the song more light and how we follow up the lightest part with some really crushing guitars and then how the song slows down for the last chorus to be a musical steam roller. A nice break on the album.

21. Ett Inflammerat Sår

- I love the punky bit in the middle of this song because it reminds me so much of Deep Wound. When I stayed at Jon's old place the night before we went to Japan I found the Deep Wound EP in his collection and said that I sometime wanted to record a Deep Wound cover, and Jon was all for it. It never came to that but this song is a homage to Deep Wound. And the lyrics are a quite funny attack on George W Bush, as usual.

22. Deleted Scenes

- The lyrics to "Deleted Scenes" are some of the best I've written. I am really proud of them. I was thinking about writing about this particular subject on "Helvete" but I didn't come up with anything good. This time I succeeded. The song itself is the thrashiest song we've written. It was always a joy to rehearse this song with the full band. Everything from the opening blast and the weird solo part and the ending thrash mania was just pure joy.

23. Creature

- This is Urban's only song on the album. I thought Urban would pour out songs but he was very reserved with the material he wrote and scrapped a lot of it before we had a chance to review it. When he showed us this song he had made a complete demo of the song in Cubase with dubbed guitars, bass and everything. It was really amazing to hear a new song that way. But the song was a little bit too long, so I did a quick edit cutting away maybe as much as one minute (mostly repetitions). I also wrote the lyrics and the creature represents the difficulties that you sometimes have to face.

24. Darkness Falls

- The title is from another one of my favorite X-files episodes, and the lyrics are partly borrowed from a text about anarchy, but the essence of the lyrics is the old cliché "the sun always appears after the rain", which I think is important to think about. I partly wrote the lyrics for Jon who was a bit depressed. The song has an obvious "last song on the album" ending with some good emo parts. A nice closing piece.

25. DLTD (Japan bonus)

- We wrote three songs that we knew from the start probably would be Japan songs. Mieszko, Jon and I wrote one song each. My song - "Ett Inflammerat Sår" ended up on the "real" album, which Mieszko's and Jon's songs became the bonus songs. This one is Mieszko's. It was called "Deleted" but I asked to write it "DLTD" as a sort of injoke to the guy how did the artwork for "Shift" since he's involved in something called Deleted Art, shortened dLTD.

26. Gravar (Japan bonus)

- Jon's song. Very short, very fast and very good.


Track by track comments

Inhale/Exhale
Human 2.0
Helvete
Shift

Discography in recording order

1. "Blind World"
split 7" EP (Poserslaughter)
2. "Really Fast vol 9"
comp LP (Really Fast)
3. "Grindwork"
comp MCD (Grindwork Productions)
4. "Smile When You're Dead"
split 7" EP (Ax/ction)
5. "Domedagen"
demo (self released)
6. "Industrislaven"
MCD (Poserslaughter)
7. "Industrislaven"
12" EP (Yellow Dog)
8. "World In Turmoil"
7" EP (Blurred)
9. "The Black Illusions"
split 7" EP with Abstain (Yellow Dog)
10. "Regressive Hostility"
comp CD (Hostile Regression)
12. "Inhale/Exhale"
CD (Relapse)
13. "Inhale/Exhale"
LP (Distortion/Relapse)
14. "Untitled" bonus 7" with "Inhale/Exhale" LP (Distortion/Relapse)
15. "The Nasum Campaign"
split 7" EP with Warhate (Relapse)
16. "Relapse Winter 2000 sample"
promo comp CD (Relapse)
17. "Human 2.0"
CD (Relapse)
18. "Human 2.0"
LP (Distortion/Relapse)
19. "Human 2.01"
CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
20. "The Bloodbath is Coming"
comp 2x7" EP (Sound of Betrayal)
21. "Untitled" split 7" EP with Asterisk* (Black Mask Collective/Busted Heads/Putrid Filth)
23. "Untitled"
split 7" EP with Skitsystem (No Tolerance)
24. "Polar Grinder"
comp LP (Putrid Filth/Manufactured cR)
25. "Collapsed"
comp CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
26. "Helvete"
CD (Relapse)
27. "Helvete"
LP (Relapse)
28. "Helvete"
CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
29. "Shift"
CD (Burning Heart)
30. "Shift"
CD (Relapse)
31. "Shift"
CD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
32. "Shift"
LP (No Tolerance)
33. "Helvete"
Pic-LP (Vinyl Maniacs/GMR)
34. "Human 2.0"
Pic-LP (Vinyl Maniacs/GMR)
35. "Inhale/Exhale"
Pic-LP (Vinyl Maniacs/GMR)
36. "Grind Finale"
2xCD (Relapse)
37. "Grind Finale"
2xCD (Ritual/Howling Bull)
38. "Grind Finale"
4xLP (Unrest)
39. "Doombringer"
CD (Relapse)
40. "Doombringer"
LP (Relapse)
41. "SOS Japan - Grind Kaijyu Attack!" split 12" picture disc with Napalm Death (FETO)
42. "Domedagen"
7" EP, cassette EP (Power-It-Up)
43. "Blasting Shit To Bits - The Final Show" DVD (Selfmadegod Records)
44. "Songs of Regressive Hostility" Cassette EP (Death by Digital/Selfmadegod Records)