Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear War Now!’

Scolopendra - Those of the Catacombs

Review by Sandre the Giant

Italian death metallers Scolopendra have just released their debut record ‘Those of the Catacombs’ through Nuclear War Now, and have taken the almost traditional influence of Italian horror cinema and infused it with death metal. Their countrymen tended to take this route with doom or black, and it has created some masterpieces so let’s see if Scolopendra can measure up.

The first thing you’ll notice, after the movie poster-esque artwork gracing the cover, is that the songs are all bar one over five minutes. This is no short blastfest, but a collection of songs with more to say. Opener ‘Exhumed Corpse Exaltation’ is a croaking, creaking slab of death metal that reminds me a lot of Autopsy. Murky distortion coats the chunky, almost Immortal-like ‘First Class Coffin’, and an element of that type of black metal instensity rears its nasty head again and again throughout. It is mostly pure rabid death metal though, and with the flesh tearing surge of ‘Zombies Feasting’ and the snarling ‘Priest’s Blood Soup’, Scolopendra truly feel like a classic horror movie soundtrack.

A good old fashioned zombie massacre, rather than these jump-scare nonsense you get these days. The eerie interlude ‘The Smell of Cadavers’ sounds exactly like something from one of those old 70s horror movies, perhaps when the protagonist is looking around an old graveyard, not realsing they are being watched. Watched by the type of slavering beast that you would find hiding in the ‘Crypt of Perversion’. In an album full of great atmospheric tracks, the final one is my favourite. The guitar work is superb, the vocals are terrifiying and the world it lives in is frightening and foggy.

‘Those of the Catacombs’ is an album that takes what may seem like a cliche influence and creates something mature and absorbing with it. The songs are intricate without losing any of their savagery, and Scolopendra’s songs are anything but derivative. There isn’t a lot of bands I could easily compare them with, and that is to be applauded in a world where a lot bands sounds the same. This is excellent.

Demoncy - Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost

The rerelease of lost cult classic records seems to be the new vogue these days, but when the label is Nuclear War Now and the album is US black metallers Demoncy’s vintage sophomore effort, ‘Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost’, then any idea of jumping on bandwagons can be very quickly forgotten! Released this February, this is a reinvigoration of a black metal classic.

Opener ‘Nighthood of the Moonlit Realm’ has lost nothing of its menacing, frozen buzz and, coated in a miasmic gloom, leads the charge of traditional second wave intensity. Although this is a bit of a change from their debut, the bleak cold that surrounds this record creates a purity of genre emotion. The icy blizzard of ‘Abysmal Shores of the Dark Lands Beyond the Sun’ is a relentless, skin freezing assault, while the harsh tremolo riffing of ‘Winter’s Ancient Slumber’ feels like it has been drawn from dark Scandinavian forests. Melancholic keyboards work within the riffs to really ramp up the atmosphere of abandonment and loss.

How people have ever doubted the ‘trveness’ of the American black metal scene when albums like this have lurked in the shadows I’ll never know. Conjuring up wintry riffs and howling vocals that sound like eerie voices on a frozen wind, ‘Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost’ is a record that will appeal to everyone who has ever liked black metal. Bleak, cold and utterly lonely in its chilling delivery, Demoncy are a revelation once more.

 photo Death Worship cover_zpsxeakzgha.jpg

Made up of current and former members of Revenge, Conqueror and Blasphemy, Death Worship are a terrifying proposition. Their ‘Extermination Mass’ EP is coming out on Nuclear War Now and looks to be probably one of the most savage releases of 2017.

The dust cloud rage of opener ‘Abomination Storm’ is oppressively dense, with brutally fast drumming and savage riffing layered with vomitous vocals, interspersed with a soulless, machine like thud. The waspish thrust of ‘Evocation Chamber’ and the groaning madness of ‘Holocaust Altar’ are new levels of darkness brought to life by this bestial, black metal horde. A relentless, all consuming aura of primal anger consumes each track; frenetic and violent is the path trod here.

Death Worship’s blackened rituals at the altars of chaos have conjured some excellent tunes here, from the brutal ‘Superion Rising’ to the hellacious maelstrom of ‘Desolation Summoning’. Without subjecting us to a tuneless wall of sound, Death Worship manage to squeeze the odd glimpse of melody into the carnage, and it really works. I look forward to more of this; submit to the chaos!

Abigail - The Final Damnation

Japanese blackened thrashers Abigail are one of those bands that have more EPs, splits and singles than molecules. Their latest full length is ‘The Final Damnation’, which follows the general pattern of all these kind of records; it’s fast, it’s raw as fuck, and it’s likely poisonous to mankind. Nuclear War Now have supported them since their iconic debut in 2002, and have released this too.

The title track opens up with some classic NWOBHM lead guitar work, and then the speed kicks into overdrive. A rampant spattering of bloodied guitar riffs, throat shredding vocal screams and some absolutely killer solos make this an instant favourite. The production is nice and crisp, allowing the relentless ‘Blasphemy Night’ and the scorching ‘Open the Gates of Hell’ full license to shred without fear of anything getting lost in the murk. It’s great to see a band that hasn’t lost the beauty of the guitar solo in amongst a torrent of scorn and toxic riffs.

‘The Final Damnation’ is simply just over half an hour of filthy, punkish shredding coupled with a frantic drumming performance and a scowling, raspy vocal that completes the whole package. Songs like ‘Whiskey Coke Bitch’ and the raging ‘Sweet Baby Metal Sluts’ are stupidly good fun, and the whole album shreds like no one’s business. Great record from a great band!

Necrosic - Putrid Decimation

Nuclear War Now! Productions have bestowed upon us the debut from Necrosic, a new project from Autopsy’s Eric Cutler. This immediately establishes Necrosic as a band with a pedigree to live up to. Thankfully, ‘Putrid Decimation’ does exactly, a sludgy primal death metal rumble that is sure to satisfy fans of blood curdling, steamrolling metal of death.

Opener ‘Vomit Transmutation’ is underpinned by a dense drumming performance, and rumbling death metal riffs loom large over the top, while a throaty growl belches various intonations of evil. The relentless ‘Spawn of Radiation’ is a hearty Bolt Thrower style destroyer, with chunky riffage dominating the pallette. This is simple but effective; Necrosic do not assault with technicality, instead opting for a more full on, bulldozing death metal performance. Punctured with some nice solos, the songs are well built, and feel like the solid USDM sound is still alive and kicking.

If the likes of ‘My Casket Drains’ don’t inspire you to bang your head at the elephantine groove, then there’s a chance you’re dead from the neck up. Necrosic are unbearably heavy in parts, and their simple riffing and songwriting is infinitely more satisfying than tech death wankery. This is death metal you can rely on to crush your mind until it runs out your ear holes!


Greek extremists Embrace of Thorns are releasing this, ‘Darkness Impenetrable’, on Nuclear War Now! Productions. Geary of War took the trip down to the mouth of hell to hear what it sounds like.

Embrace of Thorns. They don’t do catchy song titles. However what they do rather well is old school black metal, with several injections of death metal and some more modern blackened death.

An amazing example of where the ‘fuck off catchy, here’s something beasting’ is ‘My Hermetic Quest For Thy Black Temple’. While it’ll never be a crowd chant, it is a damn stonker of a track. Its a pounding, head banging dirty bar steward of a track that I have played en route to the gym on a heavy lifting day. Words fail to capture it all. It is a modern life battle track.

Overall you’re taking some Beneath the Remains era Sepultura, Darkthrone and some early Bolt Thrower and smashing it together into a poisonous, virulent whole. It may never crack any best of time lists, but it’s a beast of a record that you should hear in its entirety.