Nuclear Assault - Game Over review


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Band: Nuclear Assault
Album: Game Over
Release date: 1986

01. Live, Suffer, Die
02. Sin
03. Cold Steel
04. Betrayal
05. Radiation Sickness
06. Hang The Pope
07. After The Holocaust
08. Mr. Softee Theme
09. Stranded In Hell
10. Nuclear War
11. My America
12. Vengeance
13. Brain Death

Nuclear Assault's debut album Game Over is one of the most influential albums in metal; not only is it a strong as nails thrash album, it would spur on the nascent crossover genre then in its infancy. Many of today's bands can trace an element of their sound back to this album; not being given to hyperbole, its approach and sound can be heard in bands like Power Trip and Hatebreed to name just two.

So, is this position in history warranted? Hell yes it is; from start to end like the album cover suggests, it just explodes out of the speakers and you are just enveloped in the blast radius. With tactical strikes in tracks like "Betrayal", "Radiation Sickness" and "After The Holocaust", the album leaves you in its radiated dust.

Nuclear Assault are a band with something to say, with a message underpinning most of the tracks that permeates Game Over; the theme of nuclear annihilation is overplayed in metal, but given it was released in 1986 it hadn't been done to death just yet. That said, the band do have a sense of humour and this adds levity to proceedings. Tracks like "Hang The Pope" and "Mr. Softee Theme" are short sharp breaks that serve to punctuate what is around it without diminishing the impact of the album as a whole.

The band know when to fly off the handle with tracks like "Cold Steel" just zooming by so fast you just about make out the speed lines. At the same time, the band can change track and offer up a mid-paced affair that is just as effective as the faster songs, with tracks like "Nuclear War" giving the album diversity and strength.

The production is loose but in an endearing way; the songs sound like they're ready to come apart at the seams but this adds to the frantic charm of the music. Pereialas did a great job at sounding chaotic but behind the scenes working a mix that holds everything together perfectly. Lilker's bass rumbles like the belly of a beast, the guitars of Connelly and Bramante wail like banshees while Evans' drums pulse in the background; the band are at the top of their game and offer up some of the best instrumental work in the genre.

Connelly's singing fits the style of the band well but at the same time he could use some change in approach on occasion. It's a minor fault and it's only apparent with repeated listens; it does little to diminish Game Over.

If you haven't heard the album yet you will be somewhat familiar with it anyway, as many of its traits are common in modern music. Listen to this album and you will suddenly get a whole new appreciation for Nuclear Assault but you'll get a history lesson in metal at the same time. Call it educational, call it enlightening, all I know is that it's pure gold.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Written by omne metallum | 12.05.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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