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Nuclear Assault | Third World Genocide | review | metal | Lollipop

Nuclear Assault

Third World Genocide (SPV)
by Tim Den

Everyone, in their impressionable years, had some sort of an unusual and inexplicable obsession. Even amongst my Floridian metalhead friends, my unquenchable thirst for all things Nuclear Assault as a teenager seemed baffling. They weren't the most famous, the best musicians, or the most unique-sounding. In fact, many of my friends used to make fun of guitarist/vocalist John Connelly's strange (but no less of a trademark) voice. But, for some reason, I loved everything the band put out, even going as far as mail-ordering obscure EPs (have Brain Failure, still need Fight to be Free!). I watched the videos for "Critical Mass" and "Trail of Tears" (both off of Handle With Care) so many times that I memorized each camera angle change, and was one of maybe 25 people present when the band played Cameo Theater (Miami Beach) in '94. Hell, I even refused to give up on them when bassist/backup vocalist Dan Lilker (a childhood idol of mine) and lead guitarist/back up vocalist Anthony Bramante left the band (I still maintain that Something Wicked has its moments). As I got older and pickier about my metal intake, somehow my addiction to Handle With Care and especially Out of Order (the band's pinnacle, in my opinion) never decreased. So when it was announced that the band had reformed (Bramante left due to family matters soon thereafter), you bet your ass I was stoked. Were they going to come back like Anthrax, Megadeth, and Exodus? Or was it going to be St. Anger?

After hearing '03's "reunion live album" Alive Again, even a diehard fan like myself found it hard to keep the faith. The recording was horrendous, the performance sloppy (then again, Nuclear Assault were never the tightest of bands), but the new studio album will make up for it, right? Well, if you're looking for a lesser version of the golden past, then Third World Genocide will do just fine. I, on the other hand, am not satisfied with its rehashing of the thrash style instead of the genre's songs. Nuclear Assault used to be able to come up with the most eerily melodic, minor-based riffs, but Third World Genocide sounds like a demo version of Game Over (the band's debut, before they really found their identity). The riffs are straight out of the Thrash Handbook: Good, but nothing special. In the past, Nuclear Assault were able to take power chords and strange vocal melodies and make them into something magical, but apparently, the band's muse has not aged so well. For this long-time fan, it's gonna be "sticking with the relics."


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