“Toxic Playground”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Every town has got a band like Nuclear Oath. Working class tough dudes raised on Pantera, Lamb of God and Slipknot. We’ve got some in my own home town. These guys call Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada home and I’m sure they rock the Hat every Friday and Saturday night.

I can’t bring myself to hate or even dislike these guys even though I know they are very typical “bro-metal”. They sure bring the heaviness and “Toxic Playground” has a murky, raw production that brings the down-tuned groove to the forefront. Singer Pete Mercer sounds like he spent every day for the last 10 years trying to be Randy Blythe from Lamb of God, with mush-mouthed growls and angry rasps. Talk about wearing your influence on your sleeve!

Lamb of God does seem to be the primary influence here. Why the PR sheet mentions Avenged Sevenfold, I have no idea, but it does Nuclear Oath a disservice. Strangely enough, it was bonus track “There Goes The Neighborhood” (NOT a Body Count cover!) that really kicked my head in. This tune is just fuckin’ HEAVY!

I suspect Nuclear Oath are at their best in the live environment, where their obvious influences are not as big a deal. I know I’d crack open a Molson’s and mosh along with them.