Nucleus
Entity

Chicagoan four-piece,  Nucleus, have returned with their sophomore LP, Entity, and while I haven’t necessarily been on pins and needles awaiting new material these past three years since their debut full-length, Sentient, I have been looking forward to seeing where these cosmic laced death dealers would take their brand of brutality with future releases.

Sentient garnered a positive review from myself here at Teeth of the Divine, and even ended up placing in my top albums of 2016 with its unique blend of Demilich and Timeghoul influences, and here in 2019, Enitity seems very promising in doing the same. Nothing has really changed in the Nucleus sound department, other than a further solidifying of the bands visceral application. The band’s crushing Finnish fortitude (Demilich, Convulse, Adramelech, Seance(yeah, I know they’re Norwegian)) mixed with twisting Canadian character (Gorguts, Voivod, Chthe’ilist) and the American death blows of Timeghoul, Immolation, Incantation, Nocturnus, and Atheist remain as strong and vigilant as ever.

With an eerie oddity of picking, “Arrival” begins before Nucleus‘ crushing might kicks in. The track brilliantly showcases the band’s primary influences while creating a new beast unto itself. There are some great shifts in the song’s riffing, and a technicality in an off-beat, swirling, beauty in chaos kind of way. Old school flavored but farm fresh, and a  more than solid opening to Entity. The rest of the album flows in a consistent pace and formula as “Arrival”, with none of Entity‘s tracks truly standing head and shoulders above the other. A good and bad thing in itself, but luckily with Nucleus, the songwriting  is so densely strong that it comes out as a win-win situation, and honestly there’s something to like and talk about in every one of Entity‘s eight tracks.

Whether it’s the off-kilter rhythms and the quirky and groovy Luc Lemay (Gorguts) inspired lunges and lurches of the album’s title track, the aura melting and catchy preternatural bleak foreboding of McEntee/Pillard (Incantation) worship in “Mobilization” and instrumental, “Approach”, the Lovecraft meets Bradbury brand of cacophanous magnificence of “Uplift”, or the consistently shifting, yet focused, path of preeminence in “Dominion”, Entity has something, a lot of things, in fact, to offer the true death metal enthusiast . Not to say that Nucleus makes you work more to appreciate their brutality, but they’re definitely not for your fly-by-night, weak-kneed, weekend metal warrior. It’s damn near immpossible to pick individual songs as treasures or highlights for the aforementioned reasons that all of Entity‘s songs kick some serious ass, but I tend to lean toward “Uplift”, “Dominion” and “Timechasm” when it comes to choosing favorites. With “Uplift”, everything seems so unique and atonal, but it all comes together in an otherworldly headbanging inducing of rhythmic madness. Catchy in its brutal cosmic drive, the track is like the aural equivalent to Ed Repka’s From Beyond (Massacre) album cover, though imagined as a maddening Dan Seagrave rendering as opposed to Repka’s more cartoonish approach. “Dominion” simply annihilates with a maelstrom of licks seemingly pulled from an abyssal well connected to dimensions outside of perceived space and time; a true anti-cosmic metal of death. While “Timechasm” hits as the perfect closer. Opening the track with slithering riffage that morphs into an almost militant tone, until rippng into a raw Immolation-esque gulf enveloping movement, never going too intense tempo wise, but managing to stay consistently pummeling the enitre time.

Having just heavily and deservedly boasted on Entity and its abilities of death metal might, and being more than pleased with Nucleus‘ second full-length offering, I was initially a little underwhelmed with Entity. Sentient was a finely crafted breath of fresh air, and while Entity is quite an awesome listen in its own right, in the end, it progresses only in small areas, essentially achieving a side step of development. To be fair though, what constitutes as progressive leaps for many other bands are mere shuffles to Nucleus, so in essence, you get quite a lot from a little when it comes to the band. All in all, Nucleus are clearly an aberrant conglomeration of punishing death, and Entity is bound to make many a list when it comes to the best albums of 2019.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
July 9th, 2019

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