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Nuclear rage amid the ruined city. - 85%

hells_unicorn, June 20th, 2013

The concept of rage has always been inherent in metal, though it usually comes along with a number of other expressions in order to maintain a sense of musicality that ties it to its rock roots. Lately some bands have boasted the feat of distilling the rageful elements of their craft to the point of it being pure 200 proof anger. Whether this be a matter of self-congratulatory conceit or an accurate self-analysis, there is a sort of semi-official rivalry between death metal and black metal going back to the early 90s as the ultimate purveyors of vindictive fury, each sporting their own extreme fringe outfits with legitimate claims on the title. In something of an ironic yet fitting turn of events, one of the most celebrated vocal personas of the brutal death metal side of the coin has found himself on the opposite side of this divide, culminating in the recent Quebec black metal outfit Rage Nucleaire.

Lord Worm has always been an interesting personality, not only for his bizarrely inhuman vocalizations, but for the sheer versatility that comes with it. Where on his early works with Cryptopsy he was largely tied to the lower, guttural range comparable to similar outfits of the early 90s in Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse (albeit more exaggerated), here he has elected for a high-pitched, shrieking approach that is comparable in its intensity to his older death metal technique, but even more menacing and gut-wretching. At times it almost has the characteristic of the disembodied spirit of an imp screaming bloody murder at the sky in a fashion not all that dissimilar from Hat's ravings on Gorgoroth's debut, though it still retains a semblance of a brutal death metal interpretation of the style, thus it is far less intelligible and also leans a bit towards Maniac's vocals on early Mayhem efforts.

In even greater contrast to the exploits of Cryptopsy both old and new, "Unrelenting Fucking Hatred" goes the route of a song-oriented and largely conventional black metal album. The only thing untraditional about this is that the drums have a bit more of a clicking quality and a heavy emphasis on the bass drums, bearing maybe a slight similarity to Flo Mounier in the intensity department as well. Otherwise, this album is marked by a lack of technical showboating, relying on a familiar smattering of tremolo based riffs and parallel chord progressions that sit somewhere between early Emperor and middle-era Dimmu Borgir. Keyboards also play a fairly active role in shaping the texture and depth of the arrangement, resulting in an album that is both spiteful yet with a tinge of sorrow, almost as if taking measure of the cost of denying wisdom for maddening chaos before the inevitable tragedy.

While more of an exercise in tradition with only occasion or localized fits of originality, this is an album that will definitely sit well with fans of the post-3rd wave black metal scene, particularly those who have enjoyed the recent works of Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, and a few other successful bands that have largely cut ties with the extremely low-fi roots of the style. Comparisons could even be made to the early 2000s works of Lord Belial, though this comes without a lot of the traditional death metal trappings (such as wild Slayer inspired solos and thrashing, palm muted riff work alongside the streams of open melodic streams) and a consistently chaotic feel from beginning to end. Hopefully Lord Worm won't become too obsessed with his English teaching hobby and continue to contribute albums of this sort.

Hate Machine - 60%

GuntherTheUndying, March 25th, 2013

Exit Cryptopsy, enter Rage Nucléaire. For Lord Worm, grotesque vocalist/lyricist of the aforementioned god of technical death metal, the musical departure into black metal isn't an uncomfortable shift. In fact, the nasal, dissonant production of "Unrelenting Fucking Hatred" accompanies his malevolent gurgles of blasphemous poetry quite diligently. Worm's vocals are somewhat of an untainted sanctuary compared to the rest of the album: come on, who doesn't think this guy rules? A large piece of Rage Nucléaire's first album simply isn't up to par. "Unrelenting Fucking Hatred" (they were going for elegance, obviously) doesn't play games as far as the element of aggression is concerned, but a lot of the songs are too elongated and anticlimactic, even though the record is overall usually listenable.

If I recall, there's an interview somewhere (I'm certain before the Rage Nucléaire days) wherein Lord Worm cites his love for "hate-filled black metal." Think you can piece together where this is heading? Rage Nucléaire adores the essence of hatred, like an Anaal Nathrakh that clawed its way through countless miles of filth and now hunts for blood and suffering: the whole record is an annihilation frenzy of ravenous guitar work, constant violence, sinister vocals, boiling blast beats, and downright diabolical atmospheres. The ten-song affair kicks and bites for fifty minutes, never losing the edge of its fangs. Every member of Rage Nucléaire is at all times firing like a machine gun operated by a maniac; hammering blast beats and bloody riffs and melodies are the spinal columns and lungs of this beast, respectively.

It's quite simple to spew rhetoric about this sort of thing, because it really is insanity; not much else can be said about it, however. "Violence is Golden" and "Hunt With Murderworms, Sculpt With Flies" are both fantastic, pulverizing statements of bone-shattering black metal that represent the album's finer moments. By the time Rage Nucléaire hits "Endziel," "Unrelenting Fucking Hatred" is pretty much running on fumes. They spend the remaining duration galloping in circles with riffs that mimic the song next to it and constant blast beats; sometimes changing up the pace, but usually blast beats. The last few tracks throw up the same stuff and lick it up like it's still tasty and relevant, but it's horribly stale at this point, and I couldn't tell you about "The Gallows and the Black Coffin" or the title track for a Lord Worm Fun Bag.

I can think of a dozen records offhand that are monotonous yet enjoyable for a variety of reasons too exhaustive to list, but often times records like "Unrelenting Fucking Hatred" quickly lose their charm. It also doesn't help that there's a thirty-minute gap after the initial infatuation dispels of mediocre, recycled material just sitting around and taking up space, like an extra roommate that doesn't quite get the hint. Rage Nucléaire's overall functioning seems to fit Lord Worm's mentality of stuffing gallons of hate into black metal, and if you're into hatred that is truly unrelenting, give Rage Nucléaire a shot. However, I feel this take on black metal is only unrelenting in its ability to hit the snooze button on relevancy.

This review was written for:

Unrelenting Fucking Hatred Indeed! - 83%

psychosisholocausto, February 24th, 2013

For those so far unaware of a band known as Rage Nucleaire or their 2012 debut Unrelenting Fucking Hatred, they are the new project of former Cryptopsy vocals legend and part-time English Literature teacher Lord Worm, one of the most highly revered death metal bands of all time for their legendary sophomore album None So Vile. On that album Lord Worm showed off an incredible range in vocals with some ridiculously guttural and low growls coupled with some shrieks that really get under the listeners skin. And how does uncontestably one of the best of the death metal genre announce his grand comeback to the music scene? With a black metal band as opposed to the genre that made him popular. To some this may seem like a foolish move as the vocal styles are complete opposite. However for those more in touch with Cryptopsy's earlier works they will know that Lord Worm's screams were not THAT far removed from the traditional black metal style of screaming anyway and would at least have gave this a shot. The latter crowd is the more intelligent of the two.

Completing the Rage Nucleaire lineup are drummer Fredrik Widigs, guitarist Dark Rage and bassist Alvater. These four men have created one of the best black metal albums in recent years with some lightning fast riffing, unrelenting fucking drumming and some truly stomach churning screams Lord Worm. As far as atmospheric music goes it does not get much better than this as what is found on songs such as Sorrow Children At Morningside and Violence Is Golden is a completely apocalyptic sound unlike many bands out there. The talent is there, with the album being completely bezerk on all frontiers with the usual flurry of tremolo picked notes from Dark Rage and the ridiculously fast drumming from Widigs but it is Lord Worm who stands out the most, as was to be expected. The transition from his death metal hay day has been a brilliant one and he can cut it right up there with some of the best vocalists in the genre. As an overall product this does not compare to such albums as De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas but it sure as hell cuts a path for itself among a genre saturated with bands doing the same album over and over again.

Violence Is Golden opens up with some fantastic triple drum beats and a crazily fast riff behind it that then launches into a blitzkrieg of unrelenting fucking hatred unlike anything that you have ever heard before. The over-use of the cymbals may strike you at first but when that groovy slightly slower riff kicks in just before the one minute mark you will find that they are right at home amongst this, the most hate filled album in existence. The riff set to this song makes it stand out to the listener right from the off and never lets up. Every song on this album is a masterpiece and many of them blend together seamlessly to make one long tapestry of unrelenting fucking hatred but it is Violence Is Golden that sticks out as the best song on the album. Not a lot else can really be said about the individual songs themselves as they all follow the same template of just being songs between three and six minutes that each blast away with the characteristic hatred that should be expected from the former Cryptopsy front man.

For those wanting a fantastic black metal album that never takes the blade away from your throat for one second then Rage Nucleaire's marvelous hate-influxed Unrelenting Fucking Hatred is the one to go for this year and stands proud as one of the best albums of the year, far eclipsing the latest album from Worm's former band. He truly has not lost his ability to shine even after twenty years of harsh vocals and a change in style to the complete opposite of everything he once did, but it is not just Worm who stands out as every member of this band is equally talented. Be prepared to be amazed.

Unrelenting black metal. - 80%

Thatshowkidsdie, January 30th, 2013

The last time we heard from Lord Worm was on Cryptopsy’s rather lackluster 2005 album Once Was Not, and as a result of his absence, the scene has been a much less interesting place. So what does the most deranged-sounding vocalist in death metal do to signal his return from a seven year silence? Start a grim and twisted black metal band, that’s what! And so it is that Herr Worm is back to mangling his vocal cords with new outfit Rage Nucléaire, a band that has allegedly been festering since 2000 but is only now seeing the recorded light of day with their Season of Mist-backed debut Unrelenting Fucking Hatred.

Coming off like Anaal Nathrakh’s uglier, malfunctioning cyber-cousin, Rage Nucléaire play more-raw-than-a-motherfucker black metal caked with a thick layer of corrosive industrial scuzz. Seriously, the band sounds like those Motörhead-playing robots discovered Transilvanian Hunger, subsequently going apeshit and viciously killing their human masters as a result. Drummer Fredrik Widigs does an excellent job of impersonating a drum machine, while the rest of the band plays with an equal level of cold, merciless precision submerged in digital filth.

Lord Worm’s vocal performance is, as expected, off the fucking hook. Those looking for a repeat of his classic Cryptopsy work will be surprised to find some very different stylings here, but they are no less bizarre and terrifying. Worm screams, shrieks and gurgles like a demon choking on its own blood and vomit; it sounds totally inhuman and totally awesome. Normally, vocals are the the element of a piece of music that people can latch onto, even in extreme music, but Worm’s possessed throat contortions only serve to make Unrelenting Fucking Hatred that much more repellent and alienating (I of course mean that in the best way possible).

Although the album is about as abrasive as it gets, there are hints of melody lurking beneath the bludgeoning nastiness, with some subtle synths lending the proceedings an air of blackened grandeur. For the most part the glorious monochrome works well for Rage Nucléaire, but Unrelenting Fucking Hatred does tend to get a bit monotonous over the course of its fifty-plus minute run-time because of it. That’s a minor gripe when one considers this is the quartet’s first proper recording, and one can’t blame a band that’s been in development for twelve years for wanting to hit you with everything they’ve got.

Overall, Unrelenting Fucking Hatred is an extremely promising debut, and it’s great to hear Lord Worm once again weaving tales of total sickness (personal favorite: “Hunt with Murderworms, Sculpt with Flies”). While I do think the band needs to work on bringing more dynamics and variation into their assault, I still find myself enjoying the hell out of what is surely one of the most gnarly and caustic black metal albums to be released by a “big” metal label in quite some time. Rage Nucléaire is a band to keep an eye on, and with Worm at the helm you know they’re only going to get more evil and perverse from here.

Originally written for That's How Kids

Rage Nucléaire – Unrelenting Fucking Hatred - 70%

Asag_Asakku, January 19th, 2013

The fear of a nuclear holocaust has considerably decreased since the end of the Cold War. It is now terrorist attacks and natural disasters that fuel our collective fears. However, humanity still holds enough atomic weapons to destroy itself a thousand times and plunge earth into an endless winter. This possibility is at the heart of Rage Nucléaire’s concept, a band resulting of an association between Lord Worm (ex-Cryptopsy) and Alvater (ex-Frozen Shadows). First result of this unexpected collaboration between two pioneers of Quebec extreme metal is called Unrelenting Fucking Hatred, an album that bears its name well.

Subtlety is band’s first victim, sacrificed right at the beginning with Violence is Golden. This introductory song perfectly illustrates main aesthetic choices made by the group, based entirely on an aggression / speed couple. All other considerations are rolled by an incessant rhythmic deluge dealt by Fredrik Widigs (Diabolical, Witchery), recruited drummer for the occasion who astounds with its precision performance.

Other instruments, in particular Lord Worm voice, contribute more to the overall doom impression. Rage Nucléaire’s « gutturalist » (a neologism of my own perfectly applicable here) emits tortured sounds, real groans more reminiscent of a wild animal than a human being. This feature, while appropriate to the band style, becomes annoying over listenings. Some vocal changes would have given some relief to the listener and another dimension to the songs.

Guitar also adds a radioactivity dose to this record, with good riffs, but especially with a pervasive effect of static electricity (« fuzz ») that again seems to confine us in a post-atomic nightmare. Finally, note keyboards and samples contribution, which create an atmosphere both martial (explosions, machine gun fire and even a speech by Hitler!) And surprisingly melodic, especially Endziel and its intro recalling Jesus of Nazareth (1977, directed by Franco Zeffirelli) soundtrack!

Rage Nucléaire music is inorganic, like a world destroyed by its own weapons. Understanding this underlying concept is essential to penetrate a world otherwise unnerving. My own tastes are usually more organic-oriented, but Unrelenting Fucking Hatred remains a good record and a great way to prepare for the Apocalypse.

Originally written for Métal Obscur.

Lord Worm's Black Metal debut - 78%

absurder21, December 15th, 2012

If there’s one thing I’m somewhat surprised about with the Canadian metal scene, it’s the general lack of big or recognizable names in black metal. I mean, Blasphemy are kind of a big deal, and Woods of Ypres (R.I.P David Gold) and Skagos have both gained a decent amount of fans throughout their recent careers, but despite sharing a lot of geographic and social traits (cold and super socialized, religion not as relevant politically/has declining religious population) in common with the black metal hot-spots, I’m surprised there isn’t more popularity for black metal material coming from the grim white north. This brings me to Rage Nucléaire, the black metal band formed in 2000 by former Cryptopsy vocalist, Lord Worm, but not releasing anything ’til this year; this band features some veterans of the Canadian scene but overall are probably new faces to most. Yet, although this record is by pretty much a modern attempt at the genre (which in Canada seems to imply black/death. See: Weapon, Conqueror, Mitochondrion), it’s sound is physically very European, much in the vein of the lightning speed black metal from Sweden (Dark Funeral or Necrophobic’s black metal material come to mind), but also sharing a lot of the melodic tendencies of the Norwegian’s scene’s extremely underground, raw and simpler black metal bands (such as Kvist or Hades). Despite the collision of regions on this record, one can still recognize a few touches from the band and Lord Worm that makes the record stand out a bit more than a cookie cutter black metal release.

The album begins with a brash of slashing, epic black metal riffs, the tone of which sound more like organized, note-producing static (although the actual notes are coherent), backed by the mechanical, consistent bashing of a snare and double bass, with bass guitars playing the root notes, seeing as the riff’s tone is almost a little too weak to penetrate the thickness of the drums at times. While Unrelenting Fucking Hatred is a brand new release as far as I know, the members of the band who had previously been involved with the black metal scene have been around since the 90s, and a lot of the melodies give that impression themselves. Despite a modern sounding “kvlt” production however, many of the melodies seem to be on par with a lot of the more underground Norwegian black metal bands; the songs focusing on treble-heavy, cold and aggressive riffing, heavy in minor notes and tri-tones used to give them an occult-like, foreboding feeling, but also appealing to melody and emotions with a lot of raw, melancholic harmonies that are generally simplistic, but at times generic. These are then used in conjunction with a modest taste of simple, kind of cheesy, synth work, which mostly stays in the background and is used to amplify the aggressive, schizophrenic, depressing or ominous moods the band incorporates into their melodies. While some of these melodies are pretty catchy and devoid of malice, there are songs with viscous titles like Violence is Golden and the title track that contain a lot of these nonthreatening and overly emotional melodies, and it’s sort of hard to grasp where the empathy and personal connection is supposed to lie in the song.

The vocal performance from Lord Worm on this record is almost otherworldly. From the guttural gurgles and mad shrieks of Cryptopsy, he has jumped the entire spectrum, now utilizing a high pitched, gurgling hybrid between a screech and his fury-laced screams from Cryptopsy. He generally tends to do his vocal performance over the music in any sort of fashion, gargling a bunch of lyrics together in one outburst and not really taking too much consideration for the melodies or drums. This gives the album a somewhat wild and untamed feeling to it, and Worm certainly does a great job coming off as a gurgling, blood drinking psychopath. The various soundclips from dictators and various occult leaders helps give the record a decently dark vibe, but really in the end I don’t really got an overly threatening impression from the record. While it certainly deals with dark and hellish themes, with twisted and dark melodies dominating songs such as Hunt with Murder Worms, The Gallows and Black Coffins, it overall seems to have a generally empathetic nature to itself, trying to appeal to ones emotional sides as opposed to the violence the songs titles and Lord Worm’s vocals try to emphasize. In the end, the only really problem is that the vocals and the themes don’t seem to fit up with the melodies, but when they do it’s pretty damn good. It’s a promising record, that’s for sure, and I’m interested to see what they do next, but I’d really like to see a little more correlation with what the lyrics and Lord Worm are doing in relation to the rest of the band.

(Originally written for AXIS OF METAL as Adam Korchok )