NUCLEAR DEATH  For Our Dead / All Creatures Great and Eaten  CD   (Dark Symphonies)   11.99
For Our Dead / All Creatures Great and Eaten IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

††††† Finally, we get some high-quality CD reissues of the early Nuclear Death discography, featuring the same material featured in that massive four-LP boxset that came out a couple of years ago, spread out across two CD releases from the recently revived Dark Symphonies imprint. These discs are a marked improvement over the previous CD reissues that came out in the early 2000s, now pairing up the albums with additional demo material that further fleshes out each pustulent period of Nuclear Death's evolution into the psychedelic vomit gods we know and love. And man, this stuff still sounds as extreme as ever. Coming out of Phoenix, Arizona in the late 80s, Nuclear Death stood out in the burgeoning extreme metal underground with a twenty-something girl named Lori Bravo on vocals and bass who sounded like hell unleashed, her voice swooping from monstrous guttural growls to bizarre wordless vocalizations to killer falsetto screams. Backed by drummer Joel Whitfield and guitarist Phil Hampson, Bravo led the band through an inchoate nightmare of grinding, ultra-noisy death metal that started off as a more thrash-influenced sound, but which had evolved into one of the weirdest death/grind bands of its era by the release of their legendary 1991 album Carrion For Worm.

This much-needed Nuclear Death reissue campaign continues with Dark Symphonies' new release of For Our Dead / All Creatures Great and Eaten, a collection of early 90's material from the Arizona death-mutant cult. Originally released together as a bare-bones disc by Extremist in 2002, this compilation marks a significant shift in the band's sound, from the grinding chaos of their early work towards a more experimental (but no less extreme) direction. This might be my favorite era of the band; the All Creatures Great And Eaten tape alone stands as one of the weirdest and most insane-sounding death metal releases of the era, a violent mutation of their earlier sound.

a foul melange of psycho-sexual dread, extreme body horror, bizarre fairy tale imagery, the lyrics are fantasticlly vile, some of my favorite death metal lyrics ever.

1992's All Creatures Great And Eaten was the band's third album, though it only clocked in at just over twenty minutes. Released on cassette through the band's own Cats Meow imprint, Eaten found the band reduced to just a two piece, with Lori Bravo taking over all guitar duties in addition to vocals and bass. This resulted in a noticeable change in the band's sound, as the grinding death metal riffs mutate into more discordant, abrasive forms, and a sickening dissonance permeates all of the music. Steve Cowan's drumming remains savagely aggressive, but this new material generally sounds even more psychotic than before, Bravo's deformed guitar bringing an almost No Wavey abrasiveness and ugliness to their already quite hideous sound. Songs become writhing masses of downtuned abstract guitar noise and lurching, off-kilter rhythms. Weird spacey electronics and cosmic slime swell up from the depths, leading into eruptions of severely drug-addled improv. Effects pedals are cranked over deformed doom-laden concrete-mixer riffs. And a layer of vile, rumbling noise materializes beneath many of the songs, adding to the harsh, hallucinatory atmopshere. It's one of the most horrific slabs of avant garde deathnoise from the decade, almost sounding like some gruesome Skin Graft outfit at times, but constantly spiralling out into total madness as Bravo's snarling vocals become more and more distressed and demented.

First released on notorious label Wild Rags, For Our Dead features just four songs, terrorizing from start to end; blown out, utterly monstrous death metal whipped up into a near noisecore-like blur of blastbeats, vomitous shreiks and primitive riffage, only occasionally slowing down into a skull-flattening dirge or sprawl of nauseating feedback. Ridiculously noisy at times, there are moments like "The Third Antichrist" that turn into a weird, almost industrial-tinged ultra-heaviness that shifts between psychedelic deathsludge and sheer Merzbowian chaos. Some of these riffs are perversely catchy, though.

As with the other recent Nuclear Deat reissue CDs, Eaten is limited to one thousand copies, featuring the original, amazing artwork and new liner notes from Lori Bravo.