Braced for Nails was a Houston-based, Death Metal band with a short existence and huge impact. Members of the band went on to form some of Texas’s most prominent bands in the genre, such as, Uncleansed and Insect Warfare. Icons Above all Others is a collection of Braced for Nails material from their three year reign over the Texas scene. With a cover drawn by none other than John Zig, you can be certain the tracks are just as brutal as his artwork. Though there are no song titles, this thirteen track disc takes you on a journey of what Death Metal is supposed to be. Mike’s vocals are as guttural as I remember. The band deliver the intensity of the music with precision. Braced for Nails had a knack for pummeling you to exhaustion a wall of brutality and blast-beats, but then scare the absolute shit out of you with some kind of interlude, breakdown, or whatever else they could come up with (see track six). The darkness of the music exudes from every note with no apologies, which is part of why these guys were so powerful. One can only hope for a Braced for Nails reunion someday.