Nasty is a German/Belgian combo Hardcore band originally formed in 2004 as Van Damme. After almost 20 years, they have established themselves as one of the breakdown greats. On Heartbreak Criminals, they show off those talents over and over, proving they know how to shift into a Hardcore mainstay with precision and expertise. Chugging guitars and thundering rhythms are the mainstays of their sound, dominating each song and providing a consistent sound. There is no doubting who these guys are or what they want to do; make you lose your shit in the pit. Grab some space and get ready to thrash!

Band Members:

  • Matthias “Matthi” Tarnath – Vocals
  • Patrick “Paddy” Gajdzik – Guitar
  • Berislaw “Berry” Audenaerd – Bass
  • Christian “Nash” Fritz – Drums

September 8, 2023 – Century Media Records


  1. Intro
  2. Roses
  3. Reality Check
  4. 911
  5. Total Domination
  6. Heartbreak Criminals
  7. Resurrection
  8. More Fire
  9. Nobody Cares
  10. Don’t Play With Fire
  11. Kiss From A Rose
  12. Declaring War
  13. Chaos

As you would expect, “Intro” is just that, a lead into the album. Ominous tones and eerie sounds bring you to a heavy riff that culminates in “Roses” slamming you back into your seat. Harsh vocals and heavy guitars immediately take you to your Hardcore happy place. The drums and bass amplify the riff, giving extra power to the sound. This is the way the entire record goes, beautifully heavy riffs over bombastic rhythms. This is first and foremost a Hardcore album, so you would expect nothing less.

The breakdowns all over this record are well done and timed perfectly in each song to maximize the effect. One of the surprises is the occasional melodic section, like in the title track. “Heartbreak Criminals” has a different element thrown in. The breakdown is there, but there are clean vocals, adding something new to the album. There are backing vocals in the bridge and the guitar solo goes into more of a standard tuning and uses melodic phrasing. Not surprisingly, Nasty pulled off the shift in tone well and nailed the sound.

In typical Hardcore fashion, many of the songs are shorter. None of the tracks are four minutes and only two hit three minutes long. Six of them do not even reach the two-minute mark, but don’t fear; they have plenty of brutality. No matter the length of the track, there is plenty of heaviness to keep you moving in the pit. Many songs have a simple chorus that will easily get the audience yelling along. It takes no imagination at all to picture these guys’ live. The crowd no doubt gets involved in all aspects of the show, thrashing around, yelling at the top of their lungs, headbanging, fist fist-bumping the band at every opportunity.

Nasty hits the mark with this album. There is no doubting who and what they are; Hardcore through and through. As the song says, they are headed for “Total Domination” and you better get out of their way when they come through.

MZ Ratings:


  •             Guitars – 9
  •             Rhythms – 9
  •             Vocals – 9
  • Songwriting – 8
  • Production – 8

Overall – 8.60