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As simple as that. Although I personally will always prefer ‘Handle With Care’, most others mention ‘Survive’ as being their favourite Nuclear Assault album. Not without reason of course. We’re talking about a brilliant thrash metal release from the eighties here. In a time when some thrash metal bands were talking it a bit slower (Slayer), or getting more technical and accessible (Exodus, Kreator) or more elaborate (Metallica, Overkill), Nuclear Assault decided to unleash a no-holds-barred full speed thrash explosion.
‘F#’ has one of the most powerful vocal melodies on the album as far as catchy verses are concerned. The changes of pace on ‘Rise From The Ashes’ seem somewhat contrived instead of created but still the song makes sense. Mid tempo tunes ‘Wired’ and ‘Brainwashed’ are welcomed in this racket of up tempo quality thrash metal. ‘Brainwashed’ probably has the most memorable lyrics of the album (and the video was just simply cool.)
Now ‘Equal Rights’. What a fast thrasher that is. What the hell was John Connelly thinking here? What idiot would put this amount of words in a verse. All I can say, get the lyrics and try to sing along folks! The title track is also worth mentioning, being catchy with each line ending with ‘Only the strong will survive ’. The Led Zeppelin cover ‘Good Times, Bad Times’ is remarkably good. It’s a good thing they didn’t choose a musically difficult Zeppelin tune of course but mostly it’s John Connelly’s vocals that make this version worth listening to!
As always I forgive them their funny tunes. Actually I like a lot of them. Can’t see my Nuclear Assault collection without Hang The Pope, Lesbians, My America nor even later stuff like Mother’s Day. Here on ‘Survive’ it’s ‘Got Another Quarter’ and ‘P.S.A.’. However both do not even come close to the genius that was ‘Hang the Pope’. But hey, that’s only 32 seconds on the entire 31:21 minutes the album takes so who’d complain? Not me anyway.
‘Survive’ is their most furious album, presenting the world some superb hyperactive thrash metal with very characteristic vocals and a lot of catchy vocal lines, choruses and hooks.
You like thrash? Then this album is already in your collection. If not, shame on you.