Nuklearth: Cytotoxin Does it Again
It’s almost getting hard not to feel overwhelmed by the amount of albums coming out in succession, especially if you’re like me and find appreciation in way too many sub-sects of sub-genres of music. Can you blame people like us though? There’s so much to get lost in and an equally ineffable amount of opportunities to lose oneself in a whole different world from this physical hell we call reality; oh did I say that?
Anyways, speaking of hell on Earth, this year saw Cytotoxin’s fourth studio effort Nuklearth, released through Unique Leader Records, devastate the metallic airwaves as we’ve come to expect from the band’s atomic death metal sound. Following 2017’s Gammageddon, Nuklearth takes an increasingly melodic turn in comparison to the former all the while staying true to the bands riff heavy Brutal Death instrumental delivery. Nuklearth also presents another roster of guest features including vocalists Ben Duer (Shadow of Intent) and Elliot Desgagnés (Beneath the Massacre) as well as pianist Tommy Bonnevialle (Virulent Depravity).
The first two singles, Lupus Aurora and Dominus, do a pretty good job of encapsulating the core sound of album. It’s immediately palpable that the band’s sound has taken on a more melodic atmosphere. Beautifully layered over the atomic, BDM riff centered Cytotoxin sound we’ve come to know and love without any compromise to their musical identity.
Atomb starts the record off with a slower, heavier approach, bringing the groove in to lay the foundation for the inevitable blast beat onslaught that’s sure to linger just around the corner. After the opener the listener can expect a familiar formulaic approach to the instrumentation in comparison to Gammageddon with a more prevalent focus on melody and memorability. Though even despite the familiarity, Cytotoxin have managed to expand on their comfort zones and assimilate their own realms with more eclectic influences. Also, as to be expected, one will find no lack of intensity from Stephen “Stockie” Stockburger’s double stroke snare blast beat. Not to mention the addition of an eight inch piccolo snare to add even more character and diversity to the blast sections.
Some tracks stand out more than others of course. Soul harvester finds itself twisting and turning with an out of the box type groove accompanied by Elliot Desgagnés’ recognizable growl. Quarantine Fortress sees the accompaniment of Ben Deurr for an exponential brutal buff over more mosh inducing ferocity, followed by a breathtaking atmospheric outro. The title track Nuklearth boasts a melody almost in the tune of victory. Exemplified by harmonized tapping sections and circle pit riffs. The track then collapses into Mors Temporis: a beautifully composed piano ballad performed by Tommy Bonnevialle to top off the album as a whole.
The task of mixing, mastering, and post production fell into the hands of engineer Kristian Kohlmannslehner. Gammageddon’s mix had a sharper presence to it with not as much body. Nuklearth improves upon that ten-fold with an even fuller encapsulation of the guitars and bass. Drums were also captured in of their own element masterfully with little tampering.
Lyrically, Grimo has always been heavy on the vividly descriptive vocabulary. Weaving tales of nuclear consequence through man’s ignorant actions. To quote a verse from the title track “Silence is the answer to the truth death demands.” A quote that still echoes incessantly.
Cytotoxin have once again proven to be worthy of the BDM spotlight with an increasingly persistent growth in song structuring and melody. Aside from the accomplishment of the record’s meticulous conjuring, the band really knows how to have fun and take the piss out of themselves in the process. These will truly be some of the most memorable times of their lives and that I personal appreciate the most as a musician. I’d give Nuklearth strong 9/10 and Grimo’s vocal recording diary a 10/10 because I am still laughing.
Be sure to check out the Chernobyl Death Metal band’s social media and merch sites to help support and stay updated on future releases and perhaps a show announcement one day.