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Formulaic - 41%

GuntherTheUndying, February 3rd, 2016

Drinking from a poisoned well does little in the way of good fortune. There happens not to be a caution sign posted above the water hole of thrash, unfortunately, which would explain why bands by the hundreds continue to stick their heads into the god-knows-what below and guzzle away. I don’t shy from the fact that I’m critical of newer thrash bands; most of the Slayer wannabees and Exodus clones do nothing to make themselves more than a retracing of trailblazing groups. Nuclear is from Chile and plays a Kreator-based style of thrash, and while style points stick them ahead of the pack by an inch, the reality of “Formula for Anarchy” sets them back a mile. Nuclear, despite its sharp teeth, has no real bite once this record runs its course; it turns out sucking down the noxious remains of thrash does a number on the ol’ choppers.

“Formula for Anarchy” has a go-for-the-throat style of Kreator worship that never takes its foot off the gas. The production is something of importance, as the modern pop to the instrumental balance and the lead guitar sound emulate the sound quality of Slayer’s “Christ Illusion,” which still stinks like butthole, by the way. The vocals have the same bite and attitude of Kreator’s Mille Petrozza, almost a direct copy of his style. Not necessarily a hindrance in the grand scheme of things, however; they are one of the album’s better moments. The problem “Formula for Anarchy” has is that it lacks any spark that would have lifted it beyond being just another thrash record. Take Kreator, add “Christ Illusion” sound quality, stir it up for thirty minutes—there’s your “Formula for Anarchy.”

Nuclear’s songs are often over and done within the span of two or three minutes, never making more than a drop. Their attempts to flesh out the songwriting on “Corporate Corruption” and “Killing Spree” are vapid, resulting in a poorly concealed chubby for modern Kreator with more tempos and parts that end up mirroring the irrelevancy of the less-detailed tracks. Nuclear, to their credit, is capable of starting a fire based on how aggressive and pissed off they sound, but the attitude is secondary to the triteness. Not a single riff, bit, or part manages to swim above the uniformity; beyond the diminutive nuances is a whole lot of nothing worth noting.

We’re left running through the motions despite Nuclear refusing to halt the deluge of thrash riffs and melting solos pouring out of every one of their holes. At the least I can say “Formula for Anarchy” opened the door for me to rediscover two things: “Christ Illusion,” and why I never listen to “Christ Illusion.” The more developed tracks fail to show establishment of authority, and the shorter tunes go in one ear and out the other. What we’re left with is “Christ Illusion” production smeared on Kreator worship. It’s as exciting as it sounds.

This review was written for:

Formula for Anarchy - 80%

ApochWeiss, December 30th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Candlelight Records

Chilean thrashers Nuclear first came together in 1995 under the name Escoria. Since changing their name, the act has been hard at work, unleashing three full-length efforts, as well as a number of various live recordings. Fast forward to 2015 and we are presented with their fourth studio album, Formula for Anarchy, which saw release through their new home of Candlelight Records. However, this is a band that has become known for their influences being quite obvious in their material, leaving many casting their previous efforts, as well as this new one, into the realm of pure hero-worship. But does Formula for Anarchy stand as more of a unique outing, or is this nothing but a Slayer or Kreator carbon copy?

One things to be said about Formula for Anarchy is that it doesn't really sound that great due to the lack of bass in the mix. Yes, it's present, but as a very low hum that doesn't really offer much of a backbone to the recording, something a little necessary given the sharper buzzing distortion of the lower tuned guitars. The effort as a whole sounds hot and uncomfortable, which doesn't always work in the band's favor. Sometimes that heated environment can enhance the aggression on display, though when catering to more traditional thrash metal values, the songs can become a bit boring. Thankfully the tight performances do at least keep the aggressive attitude alive and well more times than not. Of course, this only further establishes the clear band influences that run rampant throughout the effort.

"Scam 38" will immediately grab listeners as something torn straight from Slayer's mid-career catalogue, though laced with a chorus that throws a little two-step hardcore into the mix. This makes the familiar anger and execution a little more upbeat, something the pit will take full advantage of. The goes same for "Self-Righteous Hypocrites" during the faster early Sepultura-like start, a group that can also be referenced later on in this recording. The enthusiastic frustration quickly implodes on itself, however, bringing up a darker, commanding side with enough restraint that you'll be waiting for Tom Araya to randomly shout "Now I shall reign in blood!" heading into one of the briefly silent bridges out of the chorus, especially given the shift into "Corporate Corruption" that not only has a mixture of that very group from that particular era, but also finds some Kreator scattered about, more so in the chorus.

"When Four Means None" is one of the more impressive cuts due to how tight and precise the execution can be. It does, however, scream early Sepultura influence in a way that feels more like an homage than anything. Even "Confront" manages to channel their level of hostility, though masks it with a hint of grindcore adrenaline from time to time. Honestly, while the rest of the recording is actually rather impressive, this track in particular shows what this band brings to the table a lot better than any of the other tracks presented.

While the idolism is pretty apparent much of the time, Nuclear still manages to make most of it their own through tight as hell performances, high-octane anger, and additional grindcore and crossover elements that compliment the bouts of all the bands mentioned who clearly influenced this band. From time to time you do get something a little less creative and far more conventional, but, as a whole, Formula for Anarchy can be summed up as more of a love letter to the darker side of thrash from the eighties into the mid-nineties that we've al grown to know and love, standing as more of a parallel to the likes of modern-day old-school worshippers like Toxic Holocaust and Gama Bomb. Formula for Anarchy may not hit the listener as something worth really investing time into on the first few spins, but given some time and a little more focusing on what's going on in addition to the obvious, you'll see that this is an effort that has a lot more going on than plain old worship to the legends of the style.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.

a formula for excellence! - 100%

Akerthorpe, December 13th, 2015

Hailing from the country of Chile is the band Nuclear and their new album “Formula for Anarchy” is a hardcore tinged thrash fest of madness. This in my introduction to the band and what a fine introduction it is! I was impressed from the beginning, as the band has developed a sound all their own although there are influences abound here. Some are awesomely obvious while others, not so much. In a time when it seems that crossing over and blurring genres seems to be the norm, Nuclear refuse to conform to what’s popular, and would rather stick with the foundations of tradition which make this release a deep punch to the gut of conformity.

Right off the bat you’ll notice the awesome Slayer influence that hold you by the throat in its 2 fisted grasp while the subtle Pro-pain and Sick of it All vibes punish your eardrums into oblivion. All of this is going on while the Exodus influence hit you from the other end knocking you completely senseless! Imagine, if you will, “God Hates Us All” era Slayer combined with “Bonded by Blood” era Exodus and a hardcore type vibe to top things off. That’s what’s going on here. The riffs are traditional thrash-style riffs while the solos will have you thinking that Kerry King himself is sending you into the auditory bliss that this release invokes. The drums are pretty much the typical style that you would find in this genre, but there is an undeniable hardcore feeling and approach to the playing. It seems more angry and aggressive than other bands I’ve heard playing this type of music. The drums aren’t really all that technical but then again they don’t need to be when they are played with such ferocity like they are on this album. The vocals also have that hardcore styling and approach, and it mixes well with what is typical for this genre. The vocals aren’t growled or screamed, but rather “yelled” in anger and persistence as if to say, “You better fucking listen to what I’m saying before I beat it into you!” I must say the vocals on this release are some of my favorite in the genre of thrash metal. The lyrical content is styled, somewhat, like what you will find in Slayer’s and Exodus’ latter releases, but there is also a pinch of an influence like what you would find in early Napalm Death material. Am I grasping at straws here? No, I don’t think so. I am just telling you all what I notice about this album that makes it a cut above the rest.

Nuclear have a somewhat extensive back catalog dating back to 2003, and while I don’t know what they sounded like in years past, I can say without a doubt that this release should be garnered as one of the best thrash metal releases out there today. This band is not to be underestimated and taken lightly. Candlelight Records definitely knew what they were doing when they released this masterpiece of sonic obliteration. All fans of thrash need to pick this up put it in and play it loud! This is a release that can definitely hold its own against anything released by bigger named bands. You can be sure of that!