Nasum: Shift (2004)

Nasum’s “Shift,” released on October 11th, 2004, by Burning Heart Records, is the band’s fourth studio album. The album was recorded between June and July 2004 at Soundlab Studios in Örebro, Sweden. “Shift” features 24 tracks that adhere to the grindcore genre, characterized by its fast-paced and aggressive sound. The album is notable for being the last recording before the death of Mieszko Talarczyk in December 2004.

Track Listing

  1. Particles
  2. The Engine of Death
  3. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scar
  4. No Paradise for the Damned
  5. Wrath
  6. Fear Is Your Weapon
  7. The Deepest Hole
  8. High on Hate
  9. Pathetic
  10. Circle of Defeat
  11. Like Cattle
  12. Ros
  13. The Smallest Man
  14. Cornered
  15. Strife
  16. The Clash
  17. Hets
  18. Closer to the End
  19. Fury
  20. Fight Terror with Terror
  21. Ett inflammerat sår
  22. Deleted Scenes
  23. Creature
  24. Darkness Falls

Length: 37:20



Release Date

October 11th, 2004

Record Label

Burning Heart Records

The Lineup for the Album

  • Mieszko Talarczyk: guitar, bass and lead vocals
  • Anders Jakobson: drums
  • Urban Skytt: guitar
  • Jon Lindqvist: bass

Recording Date

June 3rd – July 13th, 2004

Recording Studio

Soundlab Studios (Örebro, Sweden)

Produced by

Mieszko Talarczyk

Album Themes/Concept

Critique of Societal Values and Norms: The lyrics often challenge societal structures and norms, questioning the systems of power and control that govern individual lives. This includes a critique of both political mechanisms and cultural practices.

Environmental Concerns: Following in the footsteps of many grindcore acts, Nasum incorporates themes of environmental degradation and the neglect of natural resources. The lyrics address the consequences of industrialization and consumption-driven societies.

Human Rights and Social Justice: The band expresses a strong stance on issues related to human rights and social justice, calling for awareness and action against injustices.

War and Peace: Themes of conflict, the absurdity of war, and the quest for peace are prevalent. The lyrics often reflect on the cyclical nature of conflict and the impact of violence on humanity.

Personal Struggle and Resilience: Amidst the broader political and social themes, there are also introspective glimpses into personal struggle, mental health, and resilience against adversity.

Album Mood

Intensity and Aggression: True to the grindcore genre, “Shift” is intense and aggressive, with songs characterized by fast tempos, blast beats, and abrasive vocals. This mood underpins the entire album, creating a sense of urgency and relentless energy that drives the messages home.

Dark and Ominous: The themes of societal decay, environmental destruction, and human conflict lend a dark and ominous tone to the album. The music complements these themes with heavy, distorted guitar riffs and a dense, oppressive sound.

Reflective and Thought-Provoking: Despite its harsh exterior, “Shift” also contains moments of reflection. The lyrics provoke thought on various social issues, challenging listeners to consider their own views and the state of the world around them.

Cathartic and Empowering: For many listeners, the intense energy of the music and the confrontational nature of the lyrics can be cathartic. The album empowers listeners by channeling frustration and anger into a powerful sonic experience.

Album Trivia

Evolution in Sound: “Shift” marked a subtle shift in Nasum’s musical style, integrating more melodic elements into their traditional grindcore sound. This is evident in tracks like “Fury” and “Fight Terror with Terror,” which showcase a blend of intense grindcore with melodic overlays.

Circumstantial Changes: The album was written and recorded amidst changes in the band’s lineup and a switch in record labels, which brought about its own set of challenges. This period of transition significantly influenced the thematic and lyrical content of the album.

Hectic Schedule: The schedule for recording “Shift” was quite tight. The band was simultaneously planning a European tour and had to complete the album’s mixing and mastering quickly to meet the production schedule of Burning Heart Records. This urgency meant that they had to finalize the album cover even while still recording the album.

Artwork Quick Changes: The artwork for “Shift” underwent several rapid changes during the production process. The band wanted the album cover to mimic the aesthetic of a book cover, using specific paper and printing techniques. However, due to practical constraints, not all ideas were implemented in the final design.

Tragic Impact: “Shift” was the last album recorded before the tragic death of Mieszko Talarczyk, the band’s frontman, who died in the 2004 tsunami. This event led to the eventual disbandment of Nasum, marking “Shift” as a significant piece in the band’s history due to its association with the end of their active years.

Listen or Pass

This album might be for you if you…

  • Enjoy Extreme Metal Genres: “Shift” is a solid choice for fans of grindcore, crust punk, and extreme metal, delivering high-energy, fast-paced tracks with aggressive riffing.
  • Appreciate Political and Social Commentary: The album’s lyrics are steeped in socio-political criticism, perfect for listeners who prefer music that not only sounds intense but also conveys meaningful messages.
  • Prefer Short, Direct Tracks: Grindcore is known for its concise and straightforward approach; Nasum maintains this tradition with songs that are typically short but packed with intensity.

You might want to pass this one if you…

  • Prefer Melodic or Symphonic Metal: If your taste leans towards the melodic end of the spectrum, including symphonic, power, or traditional heavy metal, the abrasive style of grindcore in “Shift” may not appeal to you.
  • Dislike Harsh Vocals: Grindcore features aggressive and often harsh vocal styles. If you prefer clean singing or more melodious vocal approaches, this album might be challenging to enjoy.
  • Are Sensitive to High Volumes and Intense Sounds: “Shift” is loud, aggressive, and relentless. It can be overwhelming if you prefer less intense, quieter, or more ambient music.
  • Look for Longer, Progressive Tracks: If you enjoy lengthy, progressive compositions that evolve over several minutes, the quick, sharp delivery of “Shift’s” tracks, typical of grindcore’s style, may not meet your preferences.

Release Date

October 11, 2004