Nucleus are the type of death metal that I love. They are heavy as fuck but also intelligent and off-kilter musically. The music is dark and raw but the arrangements are always interesting. While the band is from Chicago, they would fit in well with the old school Florida metal scene that brought the world Death, Atheist and Cynic.
“Sentient” is an album that actually picks up steam as it goes along and ends with my three favorite tracks on the album. Talk about good sequencing. “Swarm” is one of the first stand out tracks. Pinch harmonies, pounding double bass and an odd hook. Great stuff. “Cube” is another heavy, relentless and challenging track; a great track.
But the closing three tracks are worth it alone. “Ancient” is the slow, grinding doom laden number that goes off the tracks to keep you on your toes. “Extirpate” has the time changes and tempo changes that made me smile. This one has the feel of a classic Gorguts track. Great stuff. “Starflyer” is the best of the lot. The angular riff that starts the song is killer, the slower doom section is brutal and it finishes with a fast kick in the teeth.
If you need some challenging, intelligent death metal, look no further than Nucleus. Even the lyrics on “Sentient” are smarter than you. Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke and Frank Herbert are not the usual death metal inspirations. But Nucleus is clearly not the usual death metal band!
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records