Review by Carl on April 11, 2020.
It's got the word "nuclear" in the title and a gasmask on the cover, so chances are pretty good that I'm going to like this. And lo and behold, I do! In Aeternum has maintained a steady quality throughout their career and this album keeps true to that tradition. This is Scandinavian black/death metal as it's supposed to be.
The band unleashes a fierce attack that is firmly rooted in the classic 80's sound from bands such as Kreator, early Onslaught, Sacrifice and Hellhammer. This foundation is fleshed out with menacing Swedish old school death metal (Dismember, Unleashed, Grave, ...) and a black metal atmosphere reminiscent of classics such as Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" or Dark Funeral's "The Secrets of the Black Arts", making this sound undeniably Scandinavian. This malevolent concoction is poured into varied tracks in which raging speed alternates with slower fist-pumping parts and thrashier rhythms. The growling vocal approach blends nicely with the typical Swedish riffing and there are hooks aplenty throughout this snarling offering of high energy metal that does not disappoint. Some slight imperfections are heard here and there but they are of a very minor order, not diminishing the quality of the aggressive performance in any way. The excellent production is the way it should be on an album like this: gritty yet clear enough to not lose its power. Add to this a well-balanced mixing job and you've got yourself a highly enjoyable album well worth its weight.
If you're into early 90's Scandinavian death and black metal you should give this a try, and that goes for fans of blackened thrash-infused stuff like Nifelheim, Hypnosia, Desaster or Inculter as well. In Aeternum knows how to blend all these styles to great effect and deliver it with aggressive precision seething with demonic fury. The excellent musicianship and memorable songs put the crown on the work. Fuck Soilwork and Arch Enemy, this is Scandinavian hostility at its best.
Rating: 8 out of 10202