Nukem
The Unholy Trinity

 

I’ve come to realize that the metal scene needs their equivalent of big name movie blockbusters. The thing moviegoers live for is to be able to see that latest megahit with it’s visual explosions and to get their senses pummeled and eyeballs melted. I think now is the time for the record companies to adopt a similar approach and release the auditory equivalent. Something a fan will put in and be just like “Holy Crap”!! This is just amazing! The type of CD you put in your car and it just begs for you to put your windows down and crank it even higher, so everybody on the street can hear it. Something to rattle the roof and to get the neighbors in a uproar. I think now, Sleasy Rider Records from Greece can spearhead this movement with the debut album from Nukem – The Unholy Trinity. Everything I said above is here, the review is over, I’m done, just go buy the album and prepare to be amazed with heavy metal goodness.

Ok ok, for those that maybe need a bit more to go with, here we go. All these big movie releases, have big names involved. With Nukem you have current members of Psychotic Waltz and ex Cage and Deathevokation, Brick Bath personnel. You got the guest stars, Jim Durkin from Dark Angel, Laura Christine – Warface/Meldrum/Zimmers Hole, Craig Locicero – Forbidden, Reece Scruggs – Havok, on paper alone that’s a auditory explosion in itself!

As for the music? Well think mid era Megadeth, Pantera, Overkill, Toxic Holocaust are just some of the more immediate sounds that come to mind. As you listen tho, you will hear bits and pieces of others, that come together in this metal assault. Still need more? Okay try this, buy the CD (I’m serious) push play and listen to opening number Warwolf and just feel that smile creep up on your face and involuntarily your hand reaches for the volume knob, to turn it louder. Listen to the chugging intro riff, the screaming intro lead, the drums kick in and guess what? You can hear the bass. Don Lauder has a presence here and he doesn’t just follow the guitars but also creates his own groove. Its those moments along with the riffing at times I get a sense of Pantera.  After the brief scary intro for Evelyn’s Awakening (1st single and video) again you are hit with that chugging rhythm riffing, but faster (shades of Hit the Lights, from you know who) and listen to the solo section, I love when bands at times record how they would be playing live. In this case, no background rhythm playing it’s just a solo lead, the bassist and the drummer and getting to hear what they are doing. They do this at various points on the album. Also, it may be just me but do I hear a little King Diamond in the vocals toward the end? The band slows things down a bit with the next few numbers, but are no less dynamic. We all know we can be pummeled just the same.

With the song “The Deceiver” proves this point. Vocalist and guitarist Steve Brogden manages a wicked snarl in his vocals, reminiscent of “Blitz”and Mustaine but also ever so slightly of Rodney Dunsmore of Devastation (Tex.) He contributes moods and styles to the songs to give more of a dynamic from song to song, he has the high pitched screams, the lower sneers and snarls. So along with doing that, his guitar playing is just as memorable, catchy hooks that just beg for you to air guitar to. I do wonder if live down the line will they enlist a 2nd guitarist. ( Which I’ve come to find out they do, for selection shows, the aforementioned Laura Christine) I’ve seen some video and they are amazing live and pull it off as a 3 piece, so it’s no knock to say they need to. So to make things even more interesting, I love how they take a different song to cover, Black Sabbath’s “TV Crimes”, just a great groove here, again the bass throughout the song, I love it. Great cover. The song “D.O.I”. is just really cool with the faster 123 chugging riffing, the interplay of the bass, drums and guitar. We get a cool little respite with the acoustic/electric guitar interlude Lucida Sideris and then pummel you right afterwards with (their theme song maybe?) Nukem All with its great riffing, the dual guitars solo and the tradeoffs in the soloing, the drumming of Norm Leggio and the shouted chorus, which I’m sure that live is just a crowd favorite. And now, just to throw ANOTHER surprise at you, the band does a cover of “Suspicious Minds” from none other than Elvis Presley. I have to say, how they adapted it and made it…just so Metal, simply astounds me. A great end to a barnstormer of an album.

So, just like with the big blockbuster movies, you don’t go for the deep, emotional commentary or to be brought down by the weight of the world. You go for the fun, the bombast, a time to let go and have that smile put on your face. With NukemThe Unholy Trinity will do just that for you. Welcome to the new era of audio blockbusters.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Will 'Bones' Lee
September 23rd, 2016

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