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Nuclear Death – Harmony Drinks of Me (Reissue)

Nuclear Death
Harmony Drinks of Me (Reissue)
by Alex Barnard at 21 December 2021, 10:42 PM

NUCLEAR DEATH was an Avant-Garde/Death Metal band from Phoenix, Arizona. “Harmony Drinks of Me” is the band’s fifth and final album, originally released by Cats Meow Records in 2000, but subsequently re-issued in 2021 by Moribund Records.

This record had to be the biggest curveball I've ever received for an album review. I know we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers, but when I read the name “NUCLEAR DEATH,” I thought for sure that I would be getting the debut record from an up-and-coming Thrash Metal band. Not only was I surprised to find out that this was the final release from a band that had helped pioneer female extreme vocals in Metal, but also that the album sounded exactly like an early release from THE CURE. There’s nothing Metal about this album, that’s for sure; rather, this record feels like an audible re-counting of Syd Barrett’s last acid trip before he went insane.

The sense of dread that Bravo captures on tracks like “Sunless” and “Strident” is palpable. The dissonant chords, the use of space and the various bits of ear candy peppered throughout the music add up to create a very unsettling piece of work. It's hard to believe that this album comes from the same band that released such songs as “Fecal Viscera” and “Necrobestiality.”

Other highlights from this album include “Electric Spaceboy,” which reminded me a lot of the type of tracks MGMT were writing for their third, self-titled album (yes, I enjoy psychedelic pop, leave me alone); “The Baths,” a sound–collage that can best be described as an homage to composer John Cage; and “Haunted Man-Nimbus,” which is a slow, but satisfying burn.

Overall, this is unlike many other albums I’ve ever heard. Lori Bravo’s work on this record obviously goes well outside the realms of Metal to create something that’s not only heavy, but eerie. It’s a shame that this was the last album from this group; it might've been interesting to see where they would’ve gone after this record.

Production: 7
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Musicianship: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Electric Spaceboy
2. Eyes Closed (The Sin)
3. Sunless
4. The Baths
5. Strident
6. Shoot
7. Haunted Man-Nimbus
8. Secret Track
Lori Bravo – Vocals, Bass, Guitars
Record Label: Moribund Records


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