As someone who has been listening to a LOT of Black Metal these past few months, I’ve gotten to hear some really great bands. Examples of this would be INQUISITION, 1349, DRUDKH, and now NUKLEAR FROST, who have seen fit to bestow Subjugation, their seven-song debut offering upon us. This band has everything I could possibly want and more, from deliciously evil riffs and blast beats to some of the best vocals I’ve heard since I started this journey into blackness. Each member only goes by an initial, because WHO is in this band is nowhere near as important as WHAT is coming from your speakers. What I can tell you is that all the performances on this record are top-notch. If there’s a weak link, I sure as hell can’t find it. And I’ve listened to this thing a lot!
There’s an atmospheric quality at the start of “The Failure of Altruism” before the riffs come in looking to knock down walls with a serious groove a la SKELETONWITCH and then the whole thing stops on a dime before blasting you into submission with some deep, dark, guttural growls. Over the course of this song you just have no idea where it’s headed, and that’s what makes it so great! “Uranium Censer” is a very moody intro that unleashes a bloodcurdling scream signaling to the world that NUKLEAR FROST is here and fucking here to stay! Get in line or be put down, simple as that. Immediately following is “Theist Holocaust” which rains hellfire down around your ears as it burns the village to the ground. When it drops out around the 2:19 mark I can’t help but envision a bloodthirsty horde pausing for a moment to admire their handiwork before the killing begins anew.
“In the Name of Nothing” is a potent mix of aggression and melody that is sure to satisfy any and all who listen. That’s the thing about this band; they know how to beat you over the head and then pull back just when you might lose consciousness, so they can give you a minute or two before bringing the goddamn hammer down on your skull. Nice guys, right? An all-out blitz is the only way to describe “Vortex of Horror”, and you’ll notice three distinct sets of vocals, so you basically never know who’s coming at you or when. The drums are especially heavy on this song. Some chanting starts us off on “Charnel Ditch” and what the hell it means, or what said ditch is I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that the guitar and vocals work perfectly once again.
Closing things out is the eight-minutes plus opus “Become Death” which moves slowly, so slowly toward you for the first two minutes and then all hell breaks loose and it’s time to seek shelter. You won’t believe how fast it went by, probably because you’ve assumed crash positions and are hoping to avoid flying debris. In short, this is a fucking masterpiece of a recording by NUKLEAR FROST, and I can only hope that it is merely the first of many. You can download Subjugation HERE. I suggest you do. You’ll be thanking me forever.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM