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Textbook Half-Thrash - 72%

Ktulu, October 9th, 2003

This album could have been fantastic. It really could. Unfortunately for Nuclear Assault, SOMETHING WICKED just doens’t have the consistency to make it that way. Also, the fact that this band used to play such fantastically spastic, punk-ish thrash lowers my opinion of this album as well. Of course, the fact that bassist Danny Lilker and guitarist Anthony Bramante are absent on SOMETHING WICKED probably has something to do with that.

Anyway, we start off with a very good song. The title track chugs along at a steady mid-pace, much akin to something Metallica wrote on the black album. Close to thrash, but lacking the breakneck speed to make it so. John Connelly’s vocals are formidable here, as well as on every other track. The production is also decidedly thick, another factor contributing to the half-thrash sound. It’s not bad, but a little heavy on the bass.

Moving along, "Another Violent End", "Behind Glass Walls" and "Chaos" are all decent songs, with some brilliant moments in each. Some parts get a little repetitive, though. The album divebombs in quality at "The Forge", a very slow song, until it gets fast, but it's still pretty sleepy. "No Time" is of the same ilk

There are two real, bonafide thrashers on this album. "To Serve Man" could have easily found its way onto Nuclear Assault’s 1986 classic GAME OVER, while "Poetic Justice", silly lyrics notwithstanding could as well. The other full song here, "Madness Descends" has some nice riffs, but it's mostly forgettable.

The last two tracks are a waste of time. They’re the short little numbers that the band has become notorious for throughout their career, like they’re making a statement... or something. Art? Huh? Overall, this album has its fair share of good moments, but it also has quite a few bad ones. Oh yeah, and if you like the proto-thrash of bands like Machine Head and Skinlab, then do yourself a favour and get this. You’ll probably love it.