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Nuclear Power Trio - A Clear and Present Rager

Nuclear Power Trio
A Clear and Present Rager
by Chris Hawkins at 01 December 2020, 5:43 PM

NUCLEAR POWER TRIO is a new act to emerge from Denver, CO.  Freshly signed to Metal Blade, they have released their debut, “A Clear and Present Rager”.  The album is five tracks of instrumental mayhem, a romp through the creative minds of the three masked members, each of whom represents a nuclear-enabled world leader, namely Donny T., K. Jong Un, and V. Putin.

The title track opens the album setting the appropriate mood.  As a bass player, it is refreshing to hear an instrumental band put so much focus on the low end.  The tone is impeccable and shifts effortlessly between myriad styles such as slap and finger style.

The hilariously titled “Grab ‘Em by the Pyongyang,” is an ode to one of Trump’s less flattering moments, but that does not tell the whole story of this intense exercise in musical expression.  The interplay between the guitars and bass keeps things interesting as the bass helps to embellish the chords played by the guitar.  Ending on a very ‘80s sounding synth line, the track flies by before one even notices.

The production here emphasizes clarity over making any genre statements.  Quite literally, the recording exists to enhance the performance of the players.  When things need to be heavy, a crushing, crunchy guitar sound is dialed in while more melodic parts truly sing propelled on the wings of creative freedom.  For this to be a three-piece, there is a stunning, huge amount of music collected here as the finished product has the effect of a Heavy Metal symphony.

Ukraine in the Membrane,” the fourth track, is certainly the heaviest offering presented.  The drummer gets to display an effective affinity for syncopation with the percussion really coming alive.  Once again, though, the bass player steals the show.  Like a Billy Sheehan-schooled prodigy, the bass manages to sneak in a wide array of fills and runs.

While some people prefer bands to have a vocalist, I praise the high level of freedom that comes with being an instrumental outfit.  In short, it is the equivalent of throwing the rule book out of the window.  With support from Metal Blade, NUCLEAR POWER TRIO has a real shot at making a big, effective splash in the Metal world, particularly the tight community of fans eagerly hungry for new music with a challenge, to open the mind and expand one’s consciousness.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. A Clear and Present Rager
2. Grab ‘Em By the Pyongyang
3. The Fusion Collusion
4. Ukraine in the Membrane
5. Mutually Assured Seduction
Donny - Guitars
Kimmy – Drums
Vlad - Bass
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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