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Try surviving THIS! - 85%

radiohater, November 25th, 2003

The Scene

Nuclear Assault entered the studio to record their 1988 followup to 1986's Game Over and 1987's EP The Plague after months on the road. The result is one of their best albums they have made

The Cast

John Connelly (guitar, vocals) - John Connelly for the most part stays on rhythm and does a good job of it. Connelly's lead style, just like the rest of the music here, is chaotic and frenzied, but more melodic than his counterpart Anthony Bramante. His voice is a high-pitched, extremely powerful (and at times tuneless and indecipherable) holler that is definitely a love or hate affair.

Anthony Bramante (lead guitar) - Bramante locks in with Connelly forming a powerful twin guitar assault. His lead work isn't all that good, but fits the chaotic mood of the music nicely.

Dan Lilker (bass) - His thunderous bass tone propels Nuclear Assault's attack, laying down a heavy low end that was missing from some thrash bands back in the day.

Glenn Evans (drums) - One of the most underrated drummers in thrash, Evans is a powerhouse drummer. Tight and precise drumming interspersed with fills and double bass use not too dissimilar from other thrash drummers such as Lombardo and Benante

Choice Cuts

Rise From The Ashes - After a quick drum fill, the album kicks off with a punishing slice of New York thrash, excellent riff work until it slows down so John Connelly can holler over the top. This changes about halfway through when it breaks down, and then picks up, before going into an insane fast passage that will make you bang your head, guaranteed. Also features a
guitar duel at the end between Bramante and Connelly.

F# - Punishing cut propelled by relentless double bass and some of Connelly's most melodic singing, even though he's a bit screechy when hitting that high note. Side note: The title refers to the key that the song is in.

Survive - Standard Nuclear Assault, starting out relentlessly fast. It drops into a nice half time section where Bramante chips in with a lead, then the insanity picks up again and is relentless to the finish.

Equal Rights - Very up-tempo thrash with some really fast singing from Connelly, which is relentless all the way through. Features lightning paced verse sections and bruising half-time choruses.

Technology - This should have been the album closer. More standard Nuclear Assault with a riff that seems more cutting than some of the others on the album.

Pros

- Relentless thrash from start to finish

Cons

- Got Another Quarter and PSA are just boring filler that really shouldn't be there
- John Connelly's voice is a difficult taste to acquire
- Lack of variety between songs
- It's a bit too short

Closing Comments

It may not be pretty, it may not have a lot of variety, but if you're after raw intense thrash very much in the vein of Reign In Blood, this album's for you.