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Nucleus - Sentient

by Andrew Sifari at 03 September 2016, 10:18 PM

If you’re reading this, then I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of articles about bands that “blend genres” with music that “shows why this band is among the best” in their field. The thing is, so many of these bands fall short of their own self-evaluation by playing it safe or making overly-formulaic music. Where many of their peers fall short, Chicago-based quartet NUCLEUS deliver a fresh dose of sci-fi-based Death Metal madness on their first full-length album, “Sentient.”

From the twisted opening riffs of “Dosadi,” NUCLEUS almost sound like a band out of time, their doom-laden approach recalling the glory years of old-school Death Metal. While certainly not Prog, the band’s arrangements feel very fluid and alive, never settling into monotony. The guitar duo of Dave Muntean and Dan Ozcanli fill the air with murky, chaotic riffs, while the rhythm section of Ryan Reynolds and Pat O’Hara provide the sinister backbone to this beast, keeping the listener off-balance.

The malignant melodies and off-kilter beats on songs like “Swarm” and “Cantos” offer dizzying highs and frightening lows that call to mind the early work of legends like GORGUTS and INCANTATION, and it only gets better from there with ripping offerings like “Cube” and “Extirpate” that groove and move with the best of them. While NUCLEUS will never be confused with a band like OBSCURA or the like, their deceptively complex riffs and rhythms are never short on the histrionics that make Death Metal more than just low-tuned songs with growled vocals.

From the moment the album begins all the way to the closing notes of lurching finale “Starflayer,” the band’s aggressive approach and frenzied musicianship keep the listener guessing. NUCLEUS draw from a familiar pool of influences, but the result is an extremely satisfying and devilishly entertaining slice of Death Metal that should be on any fan’s radar this year.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Sentience
2. Dosadi
3. Cantos
4. Swarm
5. Cube
6. Insurgent
7. Ancient
8. Extirpate
9. Starflayer
Dave Muntean - Vocals, Guitars
Dan Ozcanli - Vocals, Guitars
Ryan Reynolds - Bass
Pat O'Hara - Drums
Record Label: Unspeakable Axe Records


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Edited 01 December 2022

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