Album Review: Nuclear Warfare - Lobotomy
Reviewed by Gareth Pugh
Lobotomies are proving to be very popular this year, especially in Germany, as this is the second teutonic thrash album I've heard in 2020 with the title ‘Lobotomy’, the first one was by fresh faced new boys Bloodvale, and their fantastic debut album, (which is still getting a regular spin by the way). The second is from veterans Nuclear Warfare, with their 6th album.
The first thing you notice after hitting play, is that this is proper old school thrash. It's heavy, it's fast, it's gnarly, and quite a bit dirty sounding, almost "Grot 'n' roll". I don't know, but if you asked the band about their influences, I'm guessing Motorhead and AC/DC would be pretty high on the list. The band are very competent musicians (Fritz: bass/Vocals, Listl: Guitar and Alex: Drums) but they make you think they play a simpler type of thrash than they actually do. OK this isn't super technical, but there's plenty of extremely fast picked tremolo riffing, as well chunky power chords, and powerful muted riffs, and great bass parts, the bass almost being used as a rhythm guitar.
The band show also that they can mix it up a bit, for instance after the opening one two of the title track and 'Bombshell Disease' both fast catchy, three and a half minute straight up thrashers, the band drop a real curveball with the seven minute 'Gladiator' with its classy clean intro and Maiden like harmonies, then it's off to full speed, only slowing for the chorus and a great middle section. The band also seems to have a wicked sense of humour with a few titles raising a smile, the tenderly titled 'Fuck Face' for one, and the very punky and bizarrely named 'Death by Zucchini', which I think is about chocolate cake, being another. Other notable songs are the excellent 'Betrayers from Hell' with its brilliant solo section and my personal favourite, the amazing 'The Blood Lord will Return', another stylish opening with acoustic guitars, and a really clever, simple three note (I think it's three, it's difficult to tell) main riff, the song continually evolving as it goes on, a really outstanding track. I must mention 'They Live' another cracking tune, not sure if it's about the film of the same name, that old 80s classic with Roddy Piper about aliens living among us, but I definitely heard "mind control" in the lyrics, so it could be. 'Ages of Blood' is a fitting way to round this album off, another fast and catchy one, with more super speedy tremolo riffing.
I really like this album, they don't really do anything you haven't heard before, but they do it so well, backed up with some excellent song-writing craft. The production is excellent as well, the band taking the unusual move of recording it in Brazil, but it’s certainly paid off, as they get the perfect sound, real old school sounding, but with modern sound values. If you like early Kreator, Destruction and especially Sodom, (not that they're carbon copies mind, they certainly have enough personality to stand out on their own) you should check out Nuclear Warfare. I know I'm off to investigate their other 5 albums.