By Dr. Abner Mality

Science fiction is no stranger to extreme metal. A lot of bands like Nocturnus, Voi Vod and Fear Factory have tried their hand at it. But death metal that focuses exclusively on SF is rare. Enter Nucleus from the city of Chicago…

Browsing the song titles here, I can tell these guys are well versed in the genre. “Dosadi” seems inspired by “Dune” author Frank Herbert’s book “The Dosadi Experiment”. “Cube” may refer to the excellent cult movie from the late 90’s/early 2000’s. I have a feeling “Insurgent” is NOT inspired by the cornball YA series that is now a movie franchise. But at any rate, the band knows its subject well.

None of that matters if the music is no good. On that score, Nucleus also delivers. This is technical, guttural death metal that has some odd riffing and time signatures but doesn’t go too far off the deep end. It’s definitely not sci-fi deathcore like Rings of Saturn or melodic hypertechnical  stuff like Obscura. The roots are in Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Immolation, with some of the wackiness of Voi Vod and mid-period Pestilence. The vocals are uniformly brutal and the guitar sound thick and punishing. Most of the tracks here are quite compact, but pack a lot of changes and twists into their length. “Cube” and “Ancient” are good examples of the Nucleus style. The only cut where things get out of hand is the concluding “Starflyer”, which just drags too much. They didn’t know when to pull the plug on that one.

An interesting addition to the death metal canon, I’ll bet Nucleus would intriguing to talk to. No telling where you would wind up…