This is the second of three EP reviews I’m posting today. I began the day (here) with Ur Daugr from Australia, and now I’m jumping across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and a band named…
The Skull includes ex-members of Demoniac, as well as current members of Bulletbelt, Dying Of The Light, and DBC (Dead Brain Cells). Their debut demo, which surfaced last November, is named Nuclear War. It seems to have been in the works for quite a while; it appears from their Facebook page that recording took place back in March 2013. But hey, having heard the demo, I’ll happily say, “Better late than never!”
Listening to the five songs on Nuclear War — which will race through your earholes in a tight 10-minute blitzkrieg — is to be victimized by auditory slaughter, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s a one-two punch of old school speed metal and venomous death/thrash that will lay you out.
The riffs are savage, catchy, and distorted to the point of destructive corrosiveness. There’s an underlying heavy rumble to the music that conjures images of massive tanks or earthmoving equipment big enough to flatten anything in its path. The drumming is really skull-smashing and drives like well-oiled pistons (though, thankfully, it sounds completely natural).
The vocals are the convincingly evil-as-fuck variety, whether the vocalist is shrieking, yelling, or growling like a mad dog that should have been put down a long time ago. And goddamn, the guitar solos are so incinerating that when they erupt it’s like someone clamped a jumper cable to a truck battery, shoved the other end up your ass, and cranked that mother up. Speaking figuratively of course. I’ve never actually had that done to me.
Really and truly, Nuclear War is some hell-ripping hot shit. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t spare 10 minutes to listen to this whole thing, and if you do, get ready to do it again, and again. But if you’re really in a hurry, I’d recommend “Under Attack!!!” A headbanger’s paradise.
You can download Nuclear War from The Skull’s Bandcamp for “Pay what you like”, and a limited cassette version is available from Fell Swoop Records via their Bandcamp. Both links are below.