Having been formed in southern Italy in late 2013 by singer and guitarist Luca ‘Detonation’ Sergi, and released a single which saw them dragged ‘Down To Hell’ the following year, Nuclear Detonation have taken their time in moulding the other seven tracks which make up this debut full-lengther. It’s a delay which can be partially explained by one of the oldest travails which plagues this hoary old heavy metal business – numerous line up changes: so much so that, even after laying down and completing the tracks herein, the band subsequently changed bassist!
The magnificently titled ‘Living Dead, Sons Of The Lobotomy’ is very firmly rooted in old school thrash dynamics, drawing, very clearly in places, on influences such as Anthrax, early Megadeth, Exodus and Annihilator, as well as the formative European school of the genre. The aforementioned ‘Down To Hell’, for example, sounds like it could be a long-lost demo subsequently unearthed three decades later at a San Francisco garage tape sale, dusted down and given a fresh lick of paint. For, unlike a lot of bands who are content just to regurgitate ancient riffs – and, don’t get me wrong, this is a “crime” of which Nuclear Detonation are equally guilty in places, such as on ‘Hang The Poser’, which is straight out of Nuclear Assault’s back pocket – the Calabrian quartet introduce modern atmospherics, as well as production values: these latter also pay homage to the band’s old school sentimentality but manage to do so without sounded antiquated or fossilized. Where the band really score on this particular opus is when they take their collective feet off the (effects) pedals and let the songs breathe – such as on the appropriately dense yet harmonic ‘Slow Decay’ and the progressive vibe of ‘Living Dead’.
Yes, it’s derivative in places: but, not as derivative as many other bands I could mention (but won’t). And there are plenty of faults – the mix sometimes makes the guitars and drums sound a tad tinny, while Sergi could do with adding a bit more growl to his delivery in places. But, it’s a solid enough offering: the sort I would gladly put on in the background while winding down after a forlorn day of the office and getting ready to go rockin’ and ruinin’ on the streets of Belfast town…
Down To Hell / Slow Decay / People Of The Lie / A.T.A. (Another Thrash Attack) / Living Dead / Hang The Poser / Metal Prison / Nuclear Detonation
Recommended listening: Living Dead
‘Living Dead, Sons Of The Lobotomy’ is out now on Iron Shield Records.