Tuesday, 5 October 2010
[ALBUM REVIEW]Nuclear Throne - Demo IV
First impressions of Finnish band Nuclear Throne aren't that invigorating. First off we have the terribly generic band name, in a genre of metal which off the top of my head can think of countless bands with either 'Nuclear' or 'Throne' in their name, their name isn't going to make them stand out from the throng of sub-par talentless hacks who are continuously swarming in the lower echelons of the genre. In the extreme metal genre, to stand out from everyone else, first impressions are everything, and what is the first thing people notice about a band? It's name of course. It's as if one member spoke to the other and said “What's the most clichéd Black Metal band name you can think of?” and this was the tripe they thought up. Couple the name with the 'Hey look I can use photoshop!' cover, comprised of yep you guessed it, a nuclear explosion tacked over the back of a black background with the logo down the sides in finest Times New Roman which looks like it was thrown together in about five minutes, saying it's not a great start is a bit of an understatement.
Well enough of disparaging the external, ultimately it's all about the content. So how does the music stand up then? Not much better I'm afraid. The vocals are a deep death guttural and are jarringly loud in the mix, and on drawn out growls where the vocalists pitch rises, it's pretty akin to someone dragging a piece of plywood along a concrete floor. Technically the vocals are actually pretty good, it's just the horrendous production on them completely nullifies anything positive about them. The guitar work is heavy, but that doesn't make it good. The riffs are the fairly simple run of the mill black/thrash type, and the guitar tone is extremely tinny and thin, probably only exaggerated by the complete lack of bass anywhere on this release. Add to that the ridiculously predictable and flat drum programming the whole way through the release, it ultimately all comes off a bit lackadaisical. Music about nuclear devastation should be full of blast beats and double bass, not some weakly programmed limp nonsense. The music just feels bottomless and lacks any sort of depth or dynamics whatsoever. There are some positives about this release though, namely in the last song 'Gas Mask Cult'. The vocals here refrain from scraping the roof of your skull like the previous two songs, and has a rather effective main riff at the mid-point before bursting into a completely unexpected and wild solo that closes out the song.
When it comes down to it though, two minutes of acceptable material on even a three song release is just not acceptable though. They've been around a few years already and have a further three previous demos under their belt, and to be brutally honest, if they keep this up, I can only see it staying that way. The band need to concentrate on the riffs, as I can only recall one memorable riff in the whole release, and potentially hiring a real drummer as the music suffers badly without one. Either that or use a better drum program. This release on a whole is pretty sterile and completely lacks any sort of punch or impact at all, and when your 'war' metal lacks any sort of ammunition, it's pretty futile isn't it?
Originally written for www.archiac-magazine.com