Nuclear – “Murder Of Crows” (Black Lodge)
Battle Helm Rating
With a name like Nuclear, I’d be expecting a lot, and this veteran Chilean thrash band certainly don’t disappoint in the detonation department, but moreover impress in the aftereffects of their long-felt fallout! Formed in the late 90s and sharing stages with Anthrax, Testament, Forbidden, Voivod, Grave, Hirax, Destruction, Absu and At The Gates among others, the band have issued 4 prior full-length releases and a live DVD. That said, what truly stands out about Nuclear is their music, that while being rooted in the 90s à la early Sepultura, has a decidedly modern edge to it, and having acquired plenty of live experience, has been translated into tons of winning monster riffs, meaty but catchy hooks, and dark but alluring melodies across the 11 enticing tracks here. Equally, while classed as a thrash band, there’s a liberal sprinkling of death and even hardcore in there too to make this South American outfit highly appealing indeed! As Matías Leonicio barks out his hoarse vocals on ‘No Light After All’, the gargantuan waves of death thrash pummel you as the twin guitars of Sebastián Puente and Francisco Haussmann chop, scythe and flay with lashings of catchy power grooves when they’re not whirring and screaming in insanity – brilliant. Smashing in on ‘Friendly Sociopath’ through Punto Sudy’s frantic drumming, nihilistic Slayer-esque breaks and some cool slide riffing, the mix is incredible, and despite the intense pace, it all works to hook you in through its excellent arrangements, so much so in fact, that I found myself cycling back over and over to listen to it again! With an utterly menacing sound on ‘Facing Towards You’, Leonicio’s hardcore vocals match the massive reverberating riffs and Roberto Soto’s booming bass as they slide and shift, careering dangerously towards the edge and then going over the top to blast beat before slowing into a more brooding, boot stomping pace and ending in quiet but ominous feedback – superb. Going fighting mad in the pit to ‘Hatetrend’, the rebounding riffs slam and bounce as Leonicio barks and drawls his rhyming lines while more Slayer-esque breaks create the whirring storm to make this song one that any pit would be proud of, be it live or in your home!Nuclear by name and by nature, “Murder Of Crows” is sonic devastation from one of South America’s finest.