Sep 182023

It’s been an interesting day at our site today. We began with my compatriot Andy‘s review of a well-hyped death metal album that he lauded for (among other things) its “outlandishly proggy approach” and “indulgently weird wavelegths”. Now we’re following that with something that has all the elaborate nuance of a atomic detonation.

Don’t get the wrong idea — Uranium‘s weaponization of power electronics, industrial noise, and black metal (among other ingredients) does create weird, head-twisting experiences, but in service of channeling mental ruination and inflicting terror on a seemingly world-ending scale rather than exercising a listener’s higher faculties.

In their sonic assaults, Uranium grasp the “godliness” and horror of nuclear annihilation most famously summed up by Robert Oppenheimer‘s somber yet shattering (and all too accurate) reflection: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds“.

Not for naught, Uranium have named their new album Pure Nuclear Death, and it’s the album’s title track we have for you today.

We’ve already commented about the first advance track from the album, “Black Knight Satellite”, which premiered at Invisible Oranges earlier this month. There, gruesome growling grunts trade off with agonized singing, and bunker-busting rhythmic explosions combine with swarms of demented sizzling tones that do seem radioactive. Eventually, everything convulses in dense cataclysms of violent ruination.

But that first single also included mind-bending ingredients. The bizarre call-and-response of the vocals continues, but begins to sound more drugged. The cornucopia of surrounding sounds also begins to resemble a frightening sonic hallucination, an otherworldly experience of searing madness… though the bombs continue detonating with devastating effect, until the music just drifts away at the end into a paranormal realm.

This second advance song you’re about to hear, “Pure Nuclear Death“, is another sonic calamity, but manifests its own unpredictable and macabre deformities.

The weird mental warping begins first around a sample of spoken words, and then monstrous roars emerge and the sounds become frenzied and jagged, as fast in their surge as an automatic weapon but too abrasively mutilated to be the discharge of a machine gun.

Burning sonic contortions can dimly be heard, along with tortured screams and pulverizing explosions. The song also gets a thumping beat and lo-frequency growling tones as the backdrop to a spoken-word portrayal of a cataclysmic event. Smashing and crashing sounds emerge, along with a cauldron of other odd and unsettling aural emanations. You might imagine flesh bubbling into steam as the rubble piles high.

Pure Nuclear Death comprises thirty six minutes, split up into five tracks, two of which you’ve now heard. It will be released by Sentient Ruin Laboratories on LP vinyl, cassette tape, and digital formats on October 6th.



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