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Primitive, punkish catchy thrash - 83%

UltraBoris, August 21st, 2002

A very interesting album - thrash metal stripped down to its bare riff essence for the most part. Minimal distortion combined with punkish vocals results in a really catchy album, completely driven by interesting headbanging riffs. There are maybe 20 good solid whiplash-style middle breaks in all of thrash. Nuclear Assault have about nine of them. Including two in the first song!!!

We start with the hyperfast "Live, Suffer, Die", which moves fluidly into "Sin". Some nice riffs to be found here, including the intro riff of "Sin" which will be varied subtly throughout the whole song. Great thrash break #1 here. And #2. Don't waste 'em, kids. TWO IN ONE SONG!!

"Cold Steel" is more fucking ownage. MYNAMEISEVIL!! Then, "Betrayal" is kinda sloppy and stupid and midpaced, and ya know what, Nuclear Assault have never been good at playing slow, so they should just quit...

And play "Radiation Sickness"!!! I can't fucking understand the lyrics, but that's okay... the only part I can understand is the end. DIE SLOW DEATH!

"Hang the Pope" is the first throwaway song - Nuclear Assault can't seem to make an album without them. It's fast and incoherent. But then we get back to "After the Holocaust" which has a really cool intro - for the most part, Nuke A have always been good at the tasteful acoustic introes (see "Fight to Be Free", for example)... then some hideous shrieks by John Connelly, and some really well-done riffs. Then we are forced to sit through the Mr. Softee Theme for no reason, before going to "Stranded in Hell", with its maniac intro riff.

"Nuclear War" is also very good, with a solid backbone of catchy riffs - most songs here are based on two or three main riffs, played in about 6-8 total different ways, moving along at efficient speed with a few jaw-breaking time changes here and there, though not quite as much so as on the next N.A. album. "It's better just to die!"

"My America" - yet another throwaway, a waste of a perfectly good intro riff. "Vengeance" is very nice, then we get to "Brain Death", which shows Nuclear Assault's sense of melody - it's about 7 minutes long and starts off with a build-up intro, and then goes into frantic verses, and then an awesome riff-after-riff midpaced section.

Overall - the good thing is, that all the crappy songs are about 40 seconds long and therefore don't require you to suffer through them for inordinate periods of time, while the great songs are definitely worth hearing.