Nucleus is a project unlike any other: a multi-collaboration sci fi-themed death metal album about humans joining forces to fight an alien virus. Expect some epic sci fi stuff, some explosive death metal and all sorts of cool vocalists giving nice performances.
An eerie voice message, coming from a spaceship maybe, announces what we can expect, about the virus and the apocalypse it caused. Then it turns into a death metal track that also shows what we can expect from the album: crushingly heavy riffs, a never-ending energy and some nice gurgly vocals. Another nice little touch is that the last sentences said by the space announcer are echoed by the lead vocalist’s growls.
I specified “lead vocalist” because this album is a multi-collaboration, with guest appearances from various vocalists such as Corpsegrinder, Decrepit Bill, John Gallagher, Luc Lemay and Dusty Boisjolie, and others. The first two tracks are sung by Deeds of Flesh’s vocalist Jakoby Kingston, but starting with track 3, the album becomes full of guest vocalists. The third track actually has three of those, the seventh song has three and the eighth has two.
As for my favorite vocal performances: Corpsegrinder uses a nice, somber low growl with some high screams, that give an eerie feel to Ethereal Ancestors. I think Cannibal Corpse has had a lot of influence over Jakboy Kingston’s vocals. John Gallagher gives a fast-paced and energetic performance on Nucleus, and for once, the title track is one of the most remarkable songs on the album. Frank Mullen also shines on Races Conjoined, joining efforts with Jon Zig and Matti Way. Jakoby’s vocals are quite good too.
Musically, as I said, this album has an energy that never fades. These are some powerful death metal tracks that crush everything in their path. There are some nice moments, like Terror’s wild riffs, almost old school death metal sound and ending with a long growl and the sound of water. Or Nucleus’s guitar solo and really heavy ending. Or Ethereal Ancestor’s dark tone. The intro, Odyssey, is sufficiently eerie and makes you want to hear more. The outro, Onward, is the strangest and yet the most uplifting track on the album, with its sounds of water, people shouting “hey!” and finally, a growl proclaiming “Onward!”. This gives a sense of hope that humanity can still keep going even after the virus apocalypse.
That’s not to say that this album doesn’t have weaknesses. It can get a little too repetitive, use the same riffs too much and create tracks that aren’t quite as interesting as the others, not to mention that unless the various vocalists involved use very different styles, it can be hard to tell which one is which.
But at this point, I’m just nitpicking. And really, an album that involves collaborations between members of Deeds of Flesh, Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Suffocation and Decrepit Birth, all singing (growling) about fighting a deadly virus is just such a great idea that you can’t miss this. It has a lot of great vocal performances and a lot of fun, so it’s definitely something that you might like. All of you can choose which vocal performance is your favorite. Let’s fight the virus with epic metal collaborations.
Release date: December 11, 2020
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