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ThermoNuclear War Now! Wait, is That Infringement? - 61%

TheStormIRide, May 15th, 2014

With a title like Baphometic Goat of Thermonuclear War, you should know exactly to expect from this split, especially when it’s being reissued by Hells Headbangers. Originally released in 2012 by the notorious South American label Black Goat Terrorist 666 on cassette, to the tune of 100 copies, Hells Headbangers upped the ante, releasing this split as a seven inch, limited to 300 copies. Taking two tracks each from Nihil Domination and Nocturnal Damnation, this split unites two bands from vastly different regions that have a strikingly similar sound; you guessed it – blackened death metal, war metal, whatever you want to call it.

Nocturnal Damnation is a South Korean blackened death metal act that was formed in 2010 by the wonderfully named Bestial Desecrator of Sexual Fornications and Goetic Ritual, henceforth referred to as B.D.S.F.G.R., who is the band’s only permanent member. To complete these two tracks, B.D.S.F.G.R. enlisted the help of Spanish multi-instrumentalist Infernal Saviour of Nuclear Onslaught and Warmageddon (otherwise known as S. Ezin Garaituzko & Aurkako, who is also known as Skullcrushed of the blackened death metal act Extirpation). Now that the mouthful of names is over with, I find that the most difficult portion of this split is over. B.D.S.F.G.R. describes the band’s sound as “nuclear war metal” which is an apt description for the ear raping that ensues. The entire affair is thick and blasting, with a surprisingly cavernous approach for the style. Most of these bands just dredge through the paces doing their best Sarcófago and Hellhammer impressions, but Nocturnal Damnation invokes a expansive, bass heavy sound. Both tracks feature bottom dredging bellows and deep, guttural grows, while an immensely heavy wall of sound with constant fast paced, trem riffs and blasting, nonstop drums blare away. The guitar riffs have an underlying punk flair to them, but you have to strain to focus on them amidst the clanging and banging. Actually, aside from the monstrous vocals, you really have to strain to hear anything that’s going on.

The other side of the split showcases Nihil Domination, which is a three piece blackened death metal act from Ecuador that has been peddling their blasting brand of war metal since forming in 2003. While Nihil Domination uses the same blasting, static laden formula as Nocturnal Damnation, these South Americans change up the vocal delivery with a mix of gravel-laden bellows and raspy squeals. The guitar riffs are slightly more in focus, allowing the caustic trebly riffing to sink a little further into your brain. Indeed the buzzsaw riffs are the main focus here, as they drown out the drums, except for snare pops and clanging cymbals. Their side of the split is exceedingly raw and vile, but there are moments of poignant grace, like the ballsy lead guitar solo during “Goat Fornicators of War”. Once again though, the production is more than raw. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, as that really tends to be one of the genre’s hallmarks, but it makes for an intense and grating listen, even to those familiar with the genre. Nihil Domination also offers a fitting end to the split, with the sounds of fornication and bleating goats, so use your imagination with that one.

Honestly, with a title like that, it’s obvious that it’s going to be chock full of blasting, blackened death metal insanity. If you’re a fan of the genre, check this split out, because this showcases two acts from two vastly different scenes. No matter how you look at it though, there is an extremely limited audience for this type of music. Both Nihil Domination and Nocturnal Damnation have the basics down to be successful in this style, but the production was a little rougher than it needed to be. Sure war metal is supposed to be barbaric and noisy, but this split was a little overkill on the raw factor; and I’m saying this as a big fan of the style. While this is not a mandatory release, fans of Conqueror, Black Witchery and Blasphemy should find something to their liking. If nothing else, this reissue has at least drawn my eye towards two acts with potential.

Written for The Metal Observer.