The four piece French Thrashers with a serious interest/obsession with all things nuclear are back again with album number 3; Nuclear Violence. Given the current political climate regarding all things nuclear, the post-apocalyptic leaning, deathy-thrash outfit seem to have their finger on the pulse and have found some great signs of life regarding inspiration. With their last release being rather well received, let us look forward to the impending and bleak irradiated future!

Much like its predecessor, ‘Nuclear Violence’ is a great example of how to blend elements of death metal and thrash metal and not have it sound like a mess. It has all the speed and fury you would associate with the iconic thrash tracks of the 80’s, but the clinical delivery of the death metal. The drums borders between frenzied and relentless walls of percussive force and the sweet low end rumbles of the bass really drive this riff-laden monstrosity on. Musically, it’s a good successor; it follows on where ‘Kult Of Nuke’ left off and keeps up that relentless, primal intensity.

The differences though, they are rather interesting. There are some elements of speed metal and crossover thrash creeping in during some tracks, giving a real sharp edge to the already sharp edged riffing going down. The almost grind feel in places is rather intense and it does do its job well in making you notice it. Title track “Nuclear Violence” sounds like the bastard offspring of Aborted and Nuclear Assault, it’s a wild natured musical beast which is just waiting to tear you apart! Opening number “No Way Out” pretty much says it all about how this track comes over. It’s an all-encompassing wall of thrash laden fury. Aggressive rhythm section work, death metal inspired screamed vocals and the angry groove driven riffs all work perfectly to beat you into submission and as far as opening shots go, it’s a damn good one.

Aside from that, you get the usual staples of the thrash-death hybrids. “Dystopian Future” has a solid build up feel throughout it and mixes the heavy wall style riffing with the iconic death metal buzzing riffs in the verses whilst the bass dictates just how heavy this track is. “Strike First” employs the howling feedback intro and employs a good use of gang vocals to beef it up and “Stronger Than All” is a fine track which would go down a storm in the live arena- adrenaline fuelled riffing, heavy as hell, headbang friendly and violent, it’s something which promises bodily harm! Other than those tracks which were mentioned, the rest is, like mentioned earlier on, the usual thrash-death hybrid approach. It’s intense, angry and heavy and it works well, though sometimes it does feel like the tracks merge into each other a little too easily.

In all, Can Of Worms have done well with “Nuclear Violence”. It’s a solid follow up album, it ticks all the boxes, but personally, I think it falls just short of what its predecessor laid out in terms of having a spark to it. It may be everything I like in this style of thrash, it just doesn’t grab me the way the previous album did… Saying that, it’ll still grab you and refuse to let go. All hail the irradiated thrash beast!

(7/10 Fraggle)