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TRANSILVANIA - review
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NUCLEUS
NUCLEUS
Sentient
(Unspeakable Axe Records)
36:57min

NUCLEUS is a band from Chicago, not to be mistaken for the New Jersey Doom Metal band. They play Death Metal, as their logo (albeit vaguely VOIVODy) may hint at. This debut CD was a good surprise for this old timer's ears. Considering this is an American and sci-fi themed band, I was expecting something very fast and technical. Instead, I got a mid-paced Death Metal that much reminded me of the old underground northern European bands whose 7" EPs I was listening to back in the early nineties (and that still grace the shelves of my living room), the kind of stuff somewhat akin to, say, CRYPT OF KERBEROS, ADRAMELECH, DEPRAVITY, HOUSE OF USHER, and the likes (the vocalist has a DEMIGOD shirt, so I guess it's safe to say they are into that kind of sound). So these songs very much hark back to that particular time and space, and do not rely on speed and technique, but rather on killer, fucking heavy riffs that are surprisingly musical and thought out rather than cliché rehashed distorted noise. The production is brilliant, very heavy yet with a good balance between the instruments that can all be perfectly heard. The performance is also very good, and the vocals suit the music beautifully. Check the great riffwork in songs like 'Insurgent'. Or the solo in 'Extirpate', that seems to have been abducted from the pristine days of old. More than promising, this debut is an achievement. When you think of it, the time when bands playing this kind of sound were opening new paths is now more than two decades in the past. It's not easy to sound fresh and meaningful (and I suppose this applies to all Metal in general worthy of that name), but NUCLEUS impress and show they have something to say. If you're into this kind of Death Metal, I recommend 'Sentient' without the least hesitation. Check them out at: www.facebook.com/nucleusmetal, http://nucleus.bandcamp.com, www.unspeakableaxerecords.com

Ricardo Campos

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