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Album Reviews : Nuclear – Jehovirus

By on September 5, 2010

The first incarnation of Chilean based, Nuclear, was formed in 1997 as Escoria, after recording and releasing a couple of demo’s they disbanded in 2001. Out of Escoria’s ashes in 2003 emerged, the new band.  With hard work & dedicated commitment they have since become recognised as one of the leading players in the thriving Chilean metal scene. Line-up changes ensued in 2005 but they have remained a settled and united band since.  Their debut, Heaven Denied (2006) and follow-up Ten Broken Codes (2008) were both well received releases, and showcased the bands skill and passion for true ‘old school’ Thrash Metal.  They have since gained a cult following throughout South America and boast to have played some big shows with some of Heavy Metal’s bigger names including Brujeria, Destruction, Toxic Holocaust, Hirax & Mortal Sin.

Jehovirus (2010) marks the band’s 3rd full length release.  Recorded and mixed in Santiago, Chile at AudioCustom by Sebastian Puente.  Renowned UK based producer/sound engineer, Russ Russell (Napalm death, Dimmu Borgir, Evile + many more) handled the mastering of the release.

The thrash metal on display throughout this release reeks of classic old school (down to the disturbing album art and lyrical content), and is played at a world class level.  Excellent production and overall sound quality is also of a very high standard.

The song dynamics and musicianship are very reminiscent of a large cross section of 80’s thrash metal pioneers.  Put it this way, If you were hungry for an old school stew of: early Slayer, Metallica (Puppets & Justice era), Kreator & Testament with a sprinkle of Sepultura (Arise era) and Sodom you could happily dine out on Nuclear.  Vocally, Mitas Leonicio spawns Tom Araya with Mille Petrozza & Chuck Billy in both style and delivery to exhibit his very own venom soaked aggressive style that is very well suited throughout this release.

Belligerence’ opens the album  with an ominous sounding intro before exploding into a vicious old school thrash riff born straight from Metallica’s Blackened. The track slows in tempo toward its mid section before furiously taking off again smashing the listener to pieces with more monstrous riffage culminating in so very impressive soloing and lead breaks to round out this killer opener.‘Asphyxia’ is a no holds barred Slayer-ized stomper that resembles something that could nestle nicely alongside anything from ‘Reign in Blood’ and proceeds to choke the listener to within an inch of its life. Each member gets to showcase their ample wears throughout this track. ‘Brutal Yet Precise’ is as the title indicates, this almost proto-death track, includes some of the albums finest lead breaks and precision riffing. The pounding rhythm section also really shines on this track. Definitely the album’s most technical cut, making every a single second oh this 3 minutes count.

The tempo may slow slightly on ‘Acts of Depravity’ but the gut churning intensity certainly does not. Nuclear prove that speed is not the only killer here, with a perversely torturing track, killing the listener slowly but defiantly not softly. Just in case the preceding 30 odd minutes hadn’t yet made you sit up and take notice, ‘Defleshed’ closes out this brilliant release. Dominated by a rabid vocal performance through the opening & closing sections of the track whilst the rest of the band continues to pummel the living hell out of you until the very end.

Finally, proof that Thrash Metal in 2010 can sound just as fresh as in its glory days of the 80’s. Especially when it is played with the lethal precision and respect to the roots as is displayed throughout ‘Jehovirus.’ Is this album breaking new ground in thrash metal? No. Are Nuclear an inventive band? Not really. Why the excitement then? Jehovirus encapsulates every nuance of what made Thrash tick at the height of its powers back in the day. It is a tribute to thrash metal played by 5 talented fans of the glory days and monster bands of the genre. This, above many recent thrash releases (by much bigger name bands) evokes the same excitement and enthusiasm that surrounded the very same bands during their heydays.

One can only hope that the skill and commitment to the genre demonstrated throughout this release can permeate into global success and exposure for the hidden treasure that is Nuclear. A must have for any true thrash metal fan. 8/10

Band: Nuclear
Album: Jehovirus
Year: 2010
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Australis Records/Sick Bangers
Origin: Chile
http://www.myspace.com/nuclearthrash

Track Listing
1: Belligerence
2: Criminal Solicitation
3: Asphyxia <- Reviewers choice
4: Brutal yet Precise <- Reviewers choice
5: Acts of Depravity
6: The One we Must Kill
7: World Depletion
8: On Killing
9: Defleshed <- Reviewers choice

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.