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NUCLEAR ASSAULT - Game Over (12" LP)

United States | Thrash
Price Range:   $17.77 - $19.75
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After leaving Anthrax in 1984 under circumstances he had himself to blame for, Dan Lilker formed Nuclear Assault and released a demo ("Back with Vengeance"). After reconciling with Scott Ian in 1985, Lilker became a member of the short-lived yet legendary all-star outfit S.O.D. and - due to the unexpected huge success of S.O.D.'s "Speak English or Die" album - put Nuclear Assault on hiatus. After his stint with S.O.D. was over, Lilker revived Nuclear Assault and released another demo ("Live, suffer, die") that landed the band a deal with Combat Records. Finally, in October 1986 "Game Over", Nuclear Assault's debut album, was released.

Although the album mainly consisted of re-recordings from the demo tapes (such as "Betrayal") and contained only a few "new" songs (such as "Brain Death" and "Nuclear War"), the record made a huge impact. Opening with a high-speed instrumental track ("Live, suffer, die"), "Game Over" showcases a never before heard mixture of short hardcore/grindcore eruptions clocking in under a minute ("Hang the Pope", "My America") and "classic" speed/thrash metal songs ("Cold Steel", "Stranded in Hell"). The humorous nonsense track "Mr. Softee theme", a cover version of an ice cream commercial tune, is a welcome interlude. The track "Sin" was also an "old" song though not from the demos, but written by Lilker when he was still in Anthrax (the song was actually performed live by Anthrax during Lilker's days with the band). Being versatile musically, the lyrical concept of "Game Over" is constant highly political, critical of religion (more subtle "Nuclear War", less subtle "Hang the Pope"), politics ("After the Holocaust", "Vengeance") and society ("Cold Steel"). Out of the ordinary yet characteristic is the final song, "Brain Death", clocking in over seven minutes and somewhat "summarizing" the album. Opening with an almost two-minute long acoustic guitar intro, the song continues with trailing heavy riffs and short melodic lead guitars only to culminate in blustering core-eruptions at the end.

Also included on the re-release of "Game Over" on High Roller Records (especially mastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel, 100% original sound, no remaster!) is the track "Lesbians", originally featured only on the tape version of the album.

Sebastian Thiel

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