Nucleus - Entity review

Bandcamp music player

25 users:
Band: Nucleus
Album: Entity
Release date: June 2019

01. Arrival
02. Entity
03. Uplift
04. Mobilization
05. Approach
06. Outpost
07. Dominion
08. Timechasm

We tend to imagine aliens as a sort of green humans with big heads, or in any case humanoid or with humanoid features. That's probably not the case and outer space is vast and likely home to things beyond our comprehension. Hence why there's always an eldritch horror feel to death metal about outer space.

Sci-fi and especially the outer space has been a pretty constant theme of death metal, right next to the usual gore and destruction. From Nocturnus to Pestilence to Demilich, there has always been fascination with "what's out there", and the answer to that was that whatever it is, it's pretty terrifying. Probably why their music felt closer to Alien than Star Wars. Death metal's fascination with the unknown hasn't really gone away, so it's not like Nucleus is either treading new grounds or bringing back long forgotten sounds. But it's not really a style of metal that works that easily and Nucleus have some damn great mastery of it.

And like those aforementioned bands, there's also a common ground that they play some sort of technical/progressive death metal, the old school kind that doesn't overdo the whole shtick but also focuses on sounding very eerie. While obviously Nucleus stand on the shoulders of giants, they get a few moments where they do show their playing skills, but very often those go a bit restrained in order to work together to convulse the song further. The songs rarely feel like they sit too long on riff, but they do give enough of those moments to shine in the ever-changing structures. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

The bass is perhaps the instrument with the least impact in the mix, but it does get a few moments to show its presence, though not nearly enough. The vocals can feel a bit monotonous in their usual one-dimensional low growl, but the instrumental sections feel like they outweigh the vocal ones so it never feels like too much of something, plus there are some moments of eerie choir-like vocals that shake that "one-dimensional" notion a bit, though also not nearly enough of those. So this leaves most of the weight of carrying the album on the guitars and drums, and, judging by my praise of the songwriting, it should be quite obvious that they absolutely do their job, whether neckbreaking OSDM or obtuse tech.

So while there's nothing too original about their approach, hollow pastiche as it may be, Entity has still proven to be extremely competent in crafting the sound, being not only Nucleus' best and most off-kilter album so far, but also one of the best death metal, whether space horror or not, of this year.


Written on 30.06.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

Hits total: 1759 | This month: 8