Nuclear Death
Bride of Insect/Carrion for Worm/All Creatures Great/Eaten and For Our Dead (Reissues)

BRIDE OF INSECT

In 1990 Richard C, owner of Wild Rags Records, in California took a chance on Nuclear Death.  A primitive grindcore outfit, out of Arizona, fronted by a female vocalist, who played guitar and bass.  Extreme female vocalists doing grindcore, was not something that was going on during the 80’s/90’s.  Not released on cd, I picked up the cassette at the local metal store, in NY, Slipped Disk Records.  I kept on reading about them in all the zines and there was no previewing of the music, since there was no YouTube, social media and I had not met a tape trader who had Bride of Insect.  The cassette featured an alternate album cover since the original could not fit on the cassette cover and then there was the music.  Still to this day Bride of Insect is one of my favorite underground releases.  The production was raw, however still understandable and brutal beyond belief.  Chaotic, swarming, whirlwind, tornado like disgusting grindcore.  Females can create a variety of sounds, which male singers cannot duplicate and her vocals, still to this day, are some of the most hateful, pissed off vocals ever.  There is no greater example of this, than on album opener “Necrobestiality”.  The way her lows will get into this hateful mid-range and then surprise you with some higher, raspier scream, almost operatic, how she holds out one of her screams on this track.  It feels like she is berating you, as she spits forth some filthy, brutal and visual styled grotesque lyrics.  You will feel violated after this listening experience.

Well Dark Symphonies has pressed this album in a 1000 limited reissue run, coupling the band’s earlier demos from the 80’s.  One of the aspects I noticed is the music has been remastered.  Destroys my cassette version which is warped, just like Lori’s vocals.  The sound is louder, clearer and all around sounds much better.  The original album cover adorns the cd, with a silverish background.  This album cover, is explained perfectly in the liners.  Always was one of the creepiest, depraved pieces of art to ever grace an album cover.  It’s truly a warped depiction of the Christ Nativity scene.  Liner notes, lyrics, photos, artwork and the alternate, cassette version album cover is all included.  Bride of Insect is a monster classic that has finally been released in the definitive version, that you need.  I wish I had a Bride of Insect shirt in my massive collection…oh well.   Lori was a purveyor and creator of one of the most extreme forms of music, namely, Grindcore.  Nuclear Death were just gaining steam at this point and then they released..Carrion for Worm.

CARRION FOR WORM

A mere 1 year later Nuclear Death released their second album, Carrion for Worm, in 1991.  More gross, filthy, disturbing and disgusting artwork adorned this release.  Of course I love the artwork.  The band retained their grind, but their style began leaning more towards death metal, mainly due to Lori going for more gutturals.  I swear her lows are lower, on this album, than most male death metal singers.  Not sure how she got that low, but they are indeed impressive and while I never cited her as an influence in my singing career with Internal Bleeding or afterwards, I always admired her extreme viciousness and hate-inspired vocals that she vomited forth.  With that being said, even to this day, I am not the biggest fan of Carrion for Worm.  It mainly has little to do with the music.  The music is brutal and Nuclear Death threw in some slower moments, that had a tad of Autopsy laden doom to it, and I feel these parts could have been explored more, but just as quickly as those sparse moments came, they were off blasting away again.

The songs do not breathe as much and while I loved the extreme lows Lori displayed on this record, she pretty much just does lows the entire album.  Gone are the mid-range angry, berating, barking and the highs were pretty much gone.  But for the life of me, it was the production.  The bass drums were so goddamned loud that it’s all you can hear, is the kick drum.  Vader would make the same mistake on their 2000 album, Litany, where it’s nothing but bass drums.  With the Dark Symphonies 1000 limited cd pressing, I figured the sound would be corrected, but that’s not the case.  The music is remastered and sounds louder and a little clearer, however it also makes what was irritating to me, back in 1991, continue to remain irritating to me, now in 2016.  The kick drums are louder, more pronounced and makes this album a tough listen.  A remixing of the drums would have helped out, leaps and bounds.  However; there are still many parts of this album that are face ripping and the remaster, at least, has made Carrion for Worm sound better than my crappy warped cassette. The reissue contains more demos, artwork, pictures, lyrics and as reissues go, is perfect.

FOR OUR DEAD/ALL CREATURES GREAT AND EATEN

After Carrion for Worm, in 1991, I gave up on Nuclear Death, due to that album’s production and just continued to play the crap outta Bride of Insect.  When I saw Dark Symphonies were putting out the Nuclear Death reissues and Dark Descent Records was assisting in the distro and had their first 2 albums and For Our Dead ep/All Creatures Great And Eaten, I picked up all 3 reissues.  I had never heard the music on this release, which I deserve some swift kicks to the pants for giving up on Nuclear Death, back in the day.  In 1992 Nuclear Death released both the For our Dead ep and All Creatures Great and Eaten full length.  The sound, on both harkened back to their grindcore roots of Bride of Insect yore.  Lori’s lows were still there, but she brought back the vicious, berating, hate-filled vocals and some of her higher registers on both releases and both these releases are even more vicious than on Bride of Insect.  The production on both were the best Nuclear Death ever achieved and in doing so, nuances of screams, riffs, and rhythms were more audible, making the music even more brutal.

“The Corpse Tree” from the ep, has one of Nuclear Death’s best beats and the song just knocks the crap out of the listener.  “Aunt Farm”, on All Creatures Great and Eaten is doom-laden, bringing those parts back, from Carrion for Worm, but staying with those moments longer, letting the tune breathe more and develop and then letting the blasting grind come in, a little later, makes this one of my favorite songs Nuclear Death ever did.  Lyrics and the song name are pure creative genius.  Lori’s vocals are outstanding, depraved and hideously beautiful and chaotic on this track.  The reissue is again a remastered limited pressing of 1000 cds, containing lyrics, covers to both releases, liners, pictures and more of Lori’s disturbing, just plain effed up drawings.  This third and final reissue, in my opinion, is Nuclear Death, at their peak.   From my understanding Nuclear Death went on to change their style and go towards a rock/metal style.  However; to this day Nuclear Death, Lori Bravo’s spawn, will be forever known for Bride of Insect, Carrion for Worm, All Creatures Great and Eaten and For our Dead.  Truly an outstanding band which shaped the grind scene.  Primitive, genius, disgusting, brutal, depraved, extreme, morbidly original- you name it, Nuclear Death are all these adjectives.  No one, to this day, sounds like Nuclear Death.  Pick up these 3 reissues, they are beautifully done and ultimately respectful to such a pioneering band!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
November 23rd, 2016

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