Welcome back Nuclear Assault! Even though it will be short lived (they are calling this the ‘Final Assault’ tour), the New York based thrash metal legends have reformed for their 30 year anniversary and released Pounder. This blistering 4 track E.P and 2015 tour dates including a main stage slot at the UK’s Bloodstock Open Air Festival on the 8th of August are a very big deal for me as I have not seen them since 1988 when they supported Slayer on their South Of Heaven tour. The 2 sets I saw in Manchester and Newport gave the headliners a hard act to follow considering how partisan Slayer audiences can be.
Out of the quartet, 3 of the original line up are here. Bassist Dan Lilker, vocalist/guitarist John Connelly and drummer Glenn Evans are joined by Erik Burke on lead guitar who played with the band between 2002 – 2004 and from 2011 to the present day. All 4 tracks transcend the 30 year gap between their beginnings and the present day. Dan Lilker left Anthrax so as to play more aggressive music and formed Nuclear Assault with John Connelly 30 years ago and this pairing have composed the Pounder E.P.
Mayhem ensues with the full throttle thrash of opener ‘Pounder’ and the bone snapping drum patterns from Glenn Evans make it live up to it’s title! The main riff brings to mind ‘Stranded In Hell’ from their ground breaking 1986 release Game Over and this is all topped off with the age defying demented howl of John Connelly. Follower ‘The Blind Follow (AKA Lies) is an S.O.D like stomper that shifts into blurry overdrive with some fretboard burning soloing from Erik Burke backed by some dizzying backing rhythms.
‘Analog Man In A Digital World’ is a short, sharp adrenaline rush of rage with bellowed gang vocals on the choruses. Closing track ‘Died In Your Arms’ is the slowest track here but the heaviest. Crunching bass lines from Dan Lilker provide the foil for John’s finest vocal on the Pounder E.P as he shrieks away like Jello Biafra. The song rumbles along towards a crushing finish.
So there you have it, a real return to form from Nuclear Assault, a bitter sweet release if they decide to call it a day at the end of 2015 but if they do they have left a thrashtastic legacy! It will be released on June 1st 2015 via Dry Heave Records on vinyl and CD and Download formats.
Nuclear Assault band line up :-
John Connelly – Lead vocals/guitar.
Dan Lilker – Bass guitar.
Glenn Evans – Drums.
Erik Burke – Lead guitar.
Pounder E.P track listing :-
The Blind Follow (AKA Lies).
Analog Man In A Digital World.
Died In Your Arms.