Nail Within was a melodic death/thrash metal supergroup originating from Tel Aviv, Israel. The band was formed up in 2001 by Betrayer vocalist Yishai Swearts and Azazel members Alex Schuster, Evil Haim and Barak Zait. Later, Betzefer guitarist Matan Cohen was added as the second guitarist.
Although the band was short-lived in its first run between 2001 and 2003, it proved to be very influential and in November 2007, the band was reunited, playing a one-off reunion show with Tomas Lindberg as a special guest.
Formation and self-titled debut album (2001–2002)
The band was formed in 2001 by vocalist Yishai Swearts of Betrayer fame, who was joined by guitarist Alex Schuster (of Azazel), bassist Evil Haim (of Azazel and Betzefer) and drummer Barak Zait (of Azazel) under the name Emblaze (which later became a name of a song on the band's debut album). The four were later joined by Betzefer guitarist Matan Cohen who completed the line-up.
Because the band members were known in the Israeli underground metal scene, the band gained some attention right away as a supergroup, and started playing everywhere in Israel. In 2002, a day after supporting Salem on one of their biggest shows in Israel, the band left to Germany to start working on their first studio album with record producer Harris Johns who previously worked with such bands as Kreator, Sodom and Voivod.
While working on the album in Germany, the band got to meet some of the big names in the European heavy metal scene - Mille Petrozza of Kreator, Tomas Lindberg of At the Gates and Robert Gonella of Assassin. By July 2002, the band's record was completed and all of the musicians they met during recording guested as guest vocalists on the album. Tomas Lindberg, Mille Petrozza and Ze'ev Tananboim, of Israeli band Salem, all guested on the track "Dirty Colored Knife", Robert Gonella guested on "Bleed Forever", Lindberg alone on "Under the Spell" and producer Harris Johns himself on "King Obscenity". The drummer on the album was Nir Nakav of Salem, and Salem vocalist Ze'ev Tananboim co-produced the album with Johns. The album was released on the European record label Listenable Records.
Album release party and disbandment (2003)
In January 2003, Barak Zait left the band and Ido Levi, formerly of Betrayer replaced him as a drummer.
In March 2003, the band had a release show for their self-titled album at the Koltura club in Tel Aviv, with guest vocalists Tomas Lindberg and Ze'ev Tananboim. After the release show, vocalist Yishai Swearts announced that he'll be leaving the band. The self-titled album was later released worldwide on June 30, 2003, after the band's break-up.
In October 2007, the band was reunited with Salem drummer Nir Nakav (who played drums on the band's debut album) as drummer. Vocalist Yishay Swearts, guitarists Alex Schuster and Matan Cohen and bassist Evil Haim stayed in the reunited line-up.
On November 23, 2007, the band played their first and only reunion show at the Barby club in Tel Aviv, Israel, featuring special guest Tomas Lindberg of At the Gates, who also guested on the band's album. At their reunion show, the band performed songs from their self-titled studio album, as well as some At the Gates songs.
Although the band haven't been seen together after their only reunion show, in an interview with band members Yishay Swearts, Alex Schuster and Matan Cohen, they all expressed their interest in performing live again and recording another studio album, even stating that during their hiatus Schuster wrote enough material for a new full-length album.
Musical style and influences
The band's musical style is described by the band as a combination of Swedish death metal/melodic death metal and old school thrash metal.
The band members stated such influences as melodic death metal bands At the Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquility and The Haunted and thrash metal bands such as Slayer, Kreator, Sepultura and Testament.
Although all influences, the band has worked on its unique style over their active years and their combination of death and thrash metal is considered unique.