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NUKEM The Unholy Trinity

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Thursday, September 15, 2016 @ 2:19 PM

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The Unholy Trinity

2016 Sleaszy Rider Records

San Diego, California thrashers NUKEM formed in 2012, and have worked diligently on their debut album, The Unholy Trinity, which will be released on September 16. The band’s lineup consists of metal veterans Steve Brogden (DEATHEVOKATION/CAGE) – lead guitar and vocals, Norm Leggio (PSYCHOTIC WALTZ/CAGE) – drums, and Don Lauder (UNDER THE STONE) – bass.

First of all, I love the name of the band and the logo is a nod to the classic thrash bands. Thrash is one of my favorite genres of metal, because it offers you everything in the spectrum of metal. But NUKEM is no mere thrash revival band. They are blazing a path for the next generation of thrash and heavy metal.

The Unholy Trinity radiates a “hard work pays off” attitude. Steve Brogden says of the band’s mindset: “We wanted to sound like a band, not a bunch of Frankenstein parts quantized by a computer. We wanted to do it the way our idols did it.” NUKEM definitely did it the legitimate way, because this thrash fan is enjoying every minute of the natural, real sound of the album. This is not an overproduced album with a too-clean sound. It’s a down and dirty, indisputable nuclear force to be reckoned with. There are definitely moments where a song will remind me of a classic thrash band, which is a good thing. Other times, the band pulls out a twist that I never saw coming, which is also a good thing.

Lead track “Warwolf” wastes no time setting the tone and inviting you inside. Leggio’s galloping drums and Brogden’s snarl are the standouts on the song. Jimmy Durkin (DARK ANGEL) adds a fantastic guest solo. “Evelyn’s Awakening” was the first song to get a video release, which can be viewed on KNAC.COM right HERE. This track is a speedy thrash metal anthem! The guitar tone is amazing and the solos and vocal harmonies sprinkled throughout the song are nice touches.

“The Atomic Age” is definitely a noteworthy track, and possibly the centerpiece of the “atomic” themed album. The references to the Manhattan Project, the atomic bombs Fat Man and Little Boy, and the chorus of Robert Oppenheimer’s quote “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” emphasize the theme. (Fat Man and Little Boy can also be seen on the album’s cover). With numerous twists, turns and blistering solos (provided by Reese Scruggs (HAVOK) and Craig Locicero (FORBIDDEN), this song is simply a monster!

“The Deceiver” is another killer track with a punishing rhythm. Every member just lays waste on the song, especially Don Lauder, whose bass work is awe-inspiring. Laura Christine (WARFACE, ZIMMER'S HOLE) adds a solo as well. “BloodSeeker” is a fantastic thrasher that explores unsavory creatures of the night. This is another of my favorites on the album. BLACK SABBATH’s “TV Crimes” is masterfully done; this is an excellent cover choice and the band thrashes it up a notch for sure. ”D.O.I.” is a quick and unapologetic punch to the gut and “Lethal Injection” is one of the more extreme songs on the album, with its punishing double bass drumming and a downright sick riff! Instrumental “Lucida Sidera” offers a classy intro for the barnstorming theme song “Nukem All”. What a blistering track, and a great ending to the album! A cover of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” will blow your mind. The track will be available as a digital download.

I can’t say enough about this band’s prowess on their instruments. Steve Brogden’s guitar playing is simply incredible and his vocals offer more than enough attitude and snarl to satisfy the most discriminating fan. Don Lauder is a total monster on bass guitar and Norm Leggio is the secret weapon behind the skins. This band is a juggernaut! Fans of ANTHRAX, MEGADETH, OVERKILL, METALLICA, EXODUS, LAAZ ROCKIT and MOTORHEAD should find plenty to like about NUKEM and their excellent debut album The Unholy Trinity.

The awesome Ed Repka-inspired cover artwork is perfectly suited to the music contained on this album. The Unholy Trinity is a fantastic start for this band and will be released on CD and vinyl.

4.7 Out Of 5.0

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