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NUCLEAR ASSAULT
NUCLEAR ASSAULT
Handle With Care
(Century Media Records)
49:22min

For the NUCLEAR ASSAULT fans who thought "Survive" was lacking in intensity, they should have thought NA had redeemed themselves on the follow up, "Handle With Care", originally released in 1989. By then, Thrash and Crossover were dwindling in popularity thanks largely to the advent of Death Metal and certain labels that had managed to popularize Thrash into commerciality. Nevertheless, there are always exceptions like FORBIDDEN and VIO-LENCE who kept themselves afloat and managed to avoid being swallowed by Death Metal's hideous, hungry maw. NUCLEAR ASSAULT was one such band. On "Handle With Care", NA dive once more into international politics, focusing primarily on waste disposal. As always, NUCLEAR ASSAULT play fast, but on occaision slow down enough to emphasize groove and rhythm. The second track, 'Critical Mass', is a fair example of NUCLEAR ASSAULT's ability to punch at mid-tempo. It's also an excellent demonstration of their liberal attitudes with regards to the environment, which in 1989 was perhaps less of an issue than it is now. On the heels of the Cherynoble disaster, however, it was more than topical. So, speed, ferocity, and punkish hyperactivity aside, NUCLEAR ASSAULT's third album is also refreshing because it does not have a LED ZEPPELIN cover, or for that matter, any covers at all. Covers aren't a bad thing, but they are easy to get wrong. Thankfully, there are none on "Handle With Care", making it, one of the great records of NUCLEAR ASSAULT's discography. This limited "toxic glow" edition comes with a special glow in the dark slipcase, got rematered and has six live bonus tracks (from the Hammersmith Odeon show from April 10, 1989) and the 20-page booklet features a new layout and some old photos. www.myspace.com/theofficialnuclearassault, www.nuclearassault.us, www.centurymedia.com.

Nathan Shapiro

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