Review | NUCLEAR CHRIST and VRYKOLAKAS Conspire in Heretical Wrath  

            A pact sealed in devilish blood is set to unleash havoc upon this realm, with madness and depravity inspired through its orchestrated rites, and it seizes forbidden arcane forces while advancing toward the fringes of extremity. This split grimoire witnesses the initiation of Floridian death horde NUCLEAR CHRIST, and they execute a vicious display matched by Singapore’s renowned adepts VRYKOLAKAS, whose primordial murk reinforces the onslaught during its colossal fulfillment. These unified pieces, respectively titled Twisted Idols for Nihilism and The Anatomy of the Ungodly, exercise distinct breeds of brutality, and multiple classic sources hold influence within their defiant acts. Raw and brooding energies permeate the mass, along with an infernal zeal projected from its participants, and those elements yield a formidable unholiness to terrorize our ruinous era.

            NUCLEAR CHRIST emerges with an insatiable bloodlust on “Ascension of the Demonaut,” and a whirl of turbulence forms while morphing progressions strike in time with the percussive beat. Their detailed frenzy extends to different tremolo currents, which delve into deeper levels alongside shifting drum patterns, and a rabid vitality is stressed across soloing bouts that tear through the torment at multiple points. These arrangements thrive within a raw thrashy production, and its effect is especially noted on “Halcyon Solaris,” where heightened tremolos are paralleled by heavier speed riffing sections. Rhythmic variations also reveal areas of swinging groove, and blast-beaten fluctuations develop toward pounding structures with an intensity compounded by the harsh vocal layers. This infliction becomes a savage blur on “Blessed in Monuments and Damned by Sacraments,” and the pioneering death aura rises as blunt force and scorching rapidity spiral into a disorienting core of madness. A cumulative assault follows on “Black Vanguard Code,” with other heavy riff tactics encountered amid its barbarity, and the seemingly live sound of its solos drives a primitive edge. The prominent songwriting methods are supplemented by slower flowing and atmospheric features on a cover of BLOOD FEAST’s “Remnants,” and it pays tribute in renewed fury to the original spirit. “Reigning Blood” is another ageless track recalled in distant squeals on an outro titled “The Perpetual Endbringer,” and terminal vibrations are conjured by its samples and instrumental multitude until a NUCLEAR affirmation brings about the end.

            VRYKOLAKAS dwells within a different region of the brutal spectrum, which echoes a dense aural substance from the pits of baleful catacombs, and a steady orchestrated flow brings about their looming presence on “The Mouths that Spew Blasphemy.” Crushing energies bear down among its murky tremolo currents, and fretted intricacies are glimpsed as they progress over rhythms of varying speed and groove. The oppression is matched by cavernous vocal reverberations, and harsh elevated layers are also conjured at calculated points, along with a monstrous outburst that captures appeal during its concurrent rhythmic stride. A section of leadwork drives the immensity ahead to “The Eyes that Witness Debauchery,” where soloing leaves multiple evocative marks alongside heavy noted shapes, and blast beats are a rare feature that gives this track an initial hammering. The percussion is a notable aspect of these compositions, with an inclination toward grooved courses rather than pummeling force, and its detailed patterns are particularly highlighted on “The Hands that Harvest Idolatry.” Those techniques promote a more refined approach to punishment, and a mutual enhancement develops between riff and drum designs while deviant pulsations drift into brooding territory. Order and chaos seem to converge through other irregular shifts before reaching “The Hearts that Harbour Infamy,” and heavy formations circulate throughout its mass with a focus to engulf the collective in rapturous defiance.

            The texts and incantations explore numerous mysteries, beginning with a female entity who “Rides thunderous” on “Ascension of the Demonaut,” and “Her will is to destroy” while rising as the “Mother of cries.” A “Chaos mantra heard” within “The temple of bright suns” reflects an occult presence alongside other ancient echoes in a “Battle of a thousand years,” and her triumph is achieved by “A flash of the rusted blade.” Other pantheons surface amid the “Scents of false hope” on “Halcyon Solaris,” along with the continual tension and transition noted in a “Permanent vigilance” and “Cycle of conquest,” and it observes a “Shifting of policy for doom,” with “Twisted testaments one better than the other” seeking total dominion. A certain “Savior” is deemed an “Apocryphal dog” on “Blessed in Monuments and Damned by Sacraments,” and “His mother’s virgin tears” are regarded as “Odes for a lifeless barren sea” before “Tyranny by deeds of good will” and his “Calling for god” are met with denial. Faithful delusions are the suspected target on “Black Vanguard Code,” where an “Absurd visual perfection from above” amounts to “Miraged things” seen by caged “Human rats,” and these views are condemned in favor “Of foul bliss” and the “Taste of bittersweet profanity.” Other grim scenes are suggested with “Haunting tolls of holocausts” during the overall “State of chaotic renewal,” but my interpretations are ultimately partial and uncertain from a cryptic aspect sustained across the lyrics. A deeper symbolism is traceable beneath its obscure details, which enhances the overt material and fits NUCLEAR CHRIST’s vicious style.

            The song titles suggest a common thread on the side of VRYKOLAKAS, and a defiant resolve against those attempting “To force their beliefs” initiates on “The Mouths that Spew Blasphemy.” Different philosophical perspectives of pessimism, optimism, and nihilism are recognized, along with a “Millennium of lies” from the “Corruptions revealed,” and “The soul – born for heresy” persists “Through the centuries” toward “The Eyes that Witness Debauchery.” Multiple gods of indulgence are summoned with calls to “Intoxicate us” and “Open our eyes only to vice,” and the devotees “Hail Gomorrah – and Sodom longingly” before a “Path of adultery” leads to the ancient Near East on “The Hands that Harvest Idolatry.” This track presents a version of heresy directed at the culture of “A once ancient city,” which reaches disillusionment in “Meaningless traditions” and “Fraudulent soothsayers,” and temple rites are shunned as “Theatric deceit.” The enslaving aspect of faith is addressed in “Mouths that coerce,” who “Drag the spineless – to be shackled and dripped,” and “The Hearts that Harbour Infamy” seemingly seeks to salvage control in commands to “Heed our forefathers” and “Necromancers,” but “Hearts trapped within blackness” prevail through a “Blasphemy utmost esteemed.” The “Path built upon darkness” is mightily pursued within these hymns, and the Sumerian trip brings another level of intrigue to their exaltations of rebellion and depravity.

            The primal death variations embodied by these entities are realized with parallel intensity, and their unholy alliance brings forth an arsenal with the capacity for utter annihilation. A fierce identity is carved by NUCLEAR CHRIST, with compositions of sharpened complexity and chaos that demand acclaim, and infusing those lethal formulas with more of the atmospheric flow or elements from “Remnants” and “The Perpetual Endbringer” may also be worth considering. This rabid approach is contrasted with the shadowy eminence of VRYKOLAKAS, whose aural tone effectively conjures an imposing ancient wrath, and its spellbinding appeal is maximized when leadwork emerges. Such evocative impacts could be taken further by including them regularly throughout, especially with regard to the latter tracks, but a focus on intricate percussive strikes and heavy riffing is still highly appreciable. Twisted Idols for Nihilism and The Anatomy of the Ungodly form a cohesive offering drenched in hellish glory, and its potency will surely appease deities and maniacs alike.

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