Cytotoxin
Nuklearth

Jesus, Unique Leader is having/had a fucking ridiculous summer of releases. From the reliable,  slammy duo of Ingested and Katalepsy to the vastly improved duo of Athme and Exocrine to the monstrous Stillbirth, the label killed it (not even counting the upcoming Humanity’s Last Breath remaster and reissue of Detestor EP and self titled album early this fall). However, my favorite of the bunch (along with Exocrine’s improved, more ambitious and slightly symphonic developments a close second), is the fourth album from Germany’s Chernobyl themed brutal/technical death metallers Cytotoxin (which I now know to be a substance, such as a toxin or antibody, having a toxic effect on cells.)

I had zero expectations for Nuklearth as I had never heard any of the band’s prior three efforts, though I know of them and their obsession with the 1986 nuclear disaster in Russia. But christ, this is a good album.

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t groundbreaking or genre-bending. But it just hits every brutal, technical death metal sweet spot, with a hint of slam thrown in. From Origin-esque sweeps (opener “Atomb”, “Drown in Havoc”), to huge, muscular Dyscarnate/ Dying Fetus’ish grooves and slams (“Dominus”, “Soul Harvester”, “Nuklearth”- which is particularly Dyscarnate-ish) and all tied together with tight, punchy, modern Aborted ish blast beats and techy stuttering (“Coast of Lies”, “Quarantine Fortress”) and massive Kristian Kohlmannslehner (Aborted, Benighted) production that you’d expect from Unique Leader.

Throw in some deep, commanding deathcore-ish roars and bellows, and a couple of moody interludes (spoken word “Death Zone Anthem”, piano outro “Mors Temporis”) to complete the radioactive tale of horror, and you’ve got about as complete and enjoyable of a death metal album as you will hear in 2020.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 21st, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dave S

    you’ve basically written how I felt listening to Gammageddon which blew me away, and this one satisfies as well. They had that Archspire-like catchiness on Gamma, retained it on Nuklearth, and they’ve added extra chunk in the riffage. I dig the visual image that they project with the music too


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