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Nuclear Warfare - Empowered By Hate

Nuclear Warfare
Empowered By Hate
by Jason “Monotonija” McCraw at 10 November 2017, 8:15 AM

Every once in a while, an album comes along that just sticks with you for reasons that you can't even begin to fathom. NUCLEAR WARFARE's "Empowered By Hate", had this effect on me one minute in on my first listen through. Not only is this record a deliberate throwback to the ripping, skate-friendly Thrash of old; it also musically stands alongside some of the most proficient masterworks of those days long gone. This one was a real treat for me to sink my teeth into, as it succeeded in bringing me back to the music that I grew up listening to and loving.

The album opens with two unquestionably explosive tracks called "After The Battle" and "Let The Hate Reign", and they both are strikingly reminiscent of SLAYER's first three full-length outings. Rapid fire wild riffing, hammering drums, and hopping basslines meld into a neck snapping dance of death as singer Fritz dishes out powerful, raspy screams about war, famine, and hate. Both of these songs are shining examples of true roots thrash metal played to perfection.

"Hata Com Faca" follows track two, and took me completely by surprise, especially considering how I thought I knew what I was in for during for the remainder of the record. While the music style stayed true to its antiquated thrash theme, I found myself all at once remembering a band much different than SLAYER, and that band's name was EXODUS. A slower beat propels choppy power chords over a droning bass line like ducks skimming across the top of a lake, and even the singing style and vocal distortion changes drastically, leaving one wondering whether they accidentally switched over to another artist without realizing it. It turns out that this is just how NUCLEAR WARFARE rolls. It was at this point precisely that I knew "Empowered By Hate" was going to be something special.

As the record moves along, each song evokes memories of more and more superb artists from the earlier days of thrash/speed metal, yet retains an air of originality which causes the experience of sitting and really listening to it to be constantly fun and exciting throughout its duration. One song sounds like a tribute to mid-80s ANTHRAX, the next like a B-side from EXHORDER that never saw the light of day. Two more songs pass by, and your mind brings you back to the some of the forgotten heroes, such as WRATHCHILD AMERICA, TESTAMENT, and KREATOR. The vocals are still changing in range, tempo, and overall delivery with every new track, and the music is rife with maturity and gusto.

The album closes with a killer tribute to the genre on display entitled "Thrash To The Bones", which undeniably captures the essence of Thrash Metal in its purest and simplest form. All in all, fans of the core elements of thrash at its birth are bound to appreciate and enjoy the Hell out of this offering from NUCLEAR WARFARE, and they will want to listen to it in its entirety multiple times in order to fully absorb all that is going on here. "Empowered By Hate" has already taken a well-deserved place in my current regular rotation, and it isn't going away any time soon.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. After The Battle
2. Let The Hate Reign
3. Hata Com Faca
4. Fear
5. Warlust
6. Bite Of The Viper
7. Half Truths
8. A Nice Day
9. Nuclear Warfare
10. Thrash To The Bones
Just Fucking Fritz - Bass, Vocals
Just Fucking Alex - Drums
Just Fucking Listl - Guitars
Record Label: MDD Records


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