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NUCLEAR ASSAULT - Handle With Care (12" LP)

United States | Thrash
Price Range:   $17.77 - $19.25
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Specially mastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel/ Temple of Disharmony, 100% original sound, no remaster!

With their 1989 release "Handle with Care" Nuclear Assault marked the culmination point of their career. The more thought-out songwriting process on the release was a natural result of the band having gelled a lot over a few years, playing a whole bunch of shows in a constant line-up (Dan Lilker (b.), John Connelly (g., v.), Anthony Bramante (g.) and Glenn Evans (dr.)) and becoming more cohesive as a unit. The older material might have been more savage arrangement-wise, but after a while the band figured out how to write stuff that was more diversified and more interesting and less trouble to play live. "We tried to write songs we'd have to play 100 times on tour, so the songs had slow parts too, unlike "Game Over" where most songs were all fast and tiring to play live", bassist Dan Lilker recalls. The result of this process is completely convincing, adding more variety and thus more impact and depth to the band's sound.

"Handle with Care" is once again opened by a merciless thrash massacre, starting off with the ruthless thrash blast "New Song" (strapping opening riff!), followed by mid-tempo thrasher "Critical Mass" and the faster, partly instrumental "Inherited Hell". Outstanding! Also not to be missed on the release is the traditional "crazy" song, this time being ?Funky Song" and literally living up to its title. With increasing playing time the hardcore side of the album doesn't come off short too with tracks such as "F# (Wake Up)" and "Mother's Day". Although Dan Lilker thinks of the debut album "Game Over" when it comes to the most hardcore influenced Nuclear Assault release, "Handle with Care" definitely follows in short distance. The through and through convincing album is rounded up by bouncing track "Trail of Tears", a six-minute rocker with straight main part and a frisky, almost relaxed conclusion.

No wonder, Dan Lilker has nothing but the best to say about ?Handle with Care": ?My favorite recording, it had the best production and a great batch of songs that benefited from our cohesion as a band that comes from experience." Rightly so!

Sebastian Thiel

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