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All kinds of ways to look at and review this album go through my head. Just listening to ‘a’ Nuclear Assault album? Or listening to what Nuclear Assault could pull off after the ‘Out Of Order’ debacle and change in line-up? Or even listening to it as if it were a new band? Whatever option I choose, the album won’t score higher than ‘average’ and history has almost forgotten this piece as well.
Let me start by saying when you’re used to hearing their first three albums over and over, this album just doesn’t do it. There’s a lack of speed save a few sparse moments (‘To Serve Man’ and ‘Poetic Justice’) and John Connelly’s manic screeching vocals are nowhere to be found. Thirdly the leads and solo’s are more blues scale orientated and diminish the energy and aggression even more. It’s okay and logical if a band develops and grows through the years but for me just too many characteristics are missing here to speak of ‘a’ Nuclear Assault album. It must be said though that this still can be considered a thrash metal album albeit slow and quite melodic. Not ridden with groove like other thrashers would do at this point in metal history. Also I must admit ‘Something Wicked’ is probably the best produced and heaviest album in Nuclear Assault’s history.
Now there’s the comeback moment after the ‘Out Of Order’ debacle. 50% of the line-up is gone (of which one was an important song writer) and obviously this has done good for the continuity of the album in terms of style consistency. When compared to ‘Out Of Order’ this album has a single style and message and sounds really convincing. However we are missing out on speed and aggression here and it would be too easy to think all of that only came from Lilker and Bramante on previous albums. I’ve read drummer Glen Evans was responsible for earlier thrashers like ‘Emergency’ and ‘Search & Seizure’, so what’s his excuse here?
Had this been a ‘new’ band or solo project from a Nuclear Assault member, I would have liked it more. As I said earlier too many Nuclear Assault characteristics were missing here (hell, even the logo had vanished). The album had some mighty strong (mid paced) riffs here and especially John Connelly shows off his ability to write and sing catchy (melodic) vocal lines. Yes, I like this a lot more than earlier projects such as Glenn Evans’ C.I.A.
In 1993 this album didn’t fall out off tune too much. It was heavy, slow or mid paced and had a high amount of melody. But fortunately it didn’t groove, did not suffer from ‘Panterisms’. It was a whole lot more solid and thrashier than what Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Metallica, Sacred Reich and Megadeth were up to. ‘Something Wicked’ is an album I still like to put on every few years when I’m in the mood for some pounding thrashy riffs and rhythms but keeping a slow heartbeat.