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Rage Nucléaire - Unrelenting Fucking Hatred (Season of Mist Records)

By: Mike Sloan

[6/10] The news of a new extreme metal band fronted by the mighty Lord Worm came virtually out of nowhere, but it was sensational news nonetheless. The original vocalist for the über magnificent Cryptopsy has long been regarded as the Montreal technical death metal masters’ greatest frontman and fans the world over presumably had shivers sent down their collective spines when word spread. Hell; nobody heard anything from the dude since Cryptopsy’s glorious (and largely overlooked) Once Was Not back in 2005.

Word spread that Rage Nucléaire was going to be a violent, black metal-infused monster, one that would stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Lord Worm-fronted jewels Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile. Destructive drumming, scathing guitars, psychotic vocals, etc. You name it and it was going to be all over debut album Unrelenting Fucking Hatred in spades. Many suggested that since Lord Worm is back in the fold, it would cast aside Cryptopsy’s newest, self-tiled long player as well.

Though Unrelenting Fucking Hatred fits the aforementioned description in that this bastard is a relentless slab of violence, the end result is puzzling. In short, the album is underwhelming and largely disappointing.

Yes, it’s brutal as all hell and it’s laced with vitriol and venom, but it doesn’t offer anything other than that. The guitars are savage, the drums are barbaric and Worm’s vocals are as crazy as ever. But the production of the album is borderline dreadful. So much so that the album actually sounds like it’s a one-man band with programmed instruments.

The guitars are fuzzy and thin and the drums are so triggered and tinny that it sounds not unlike such acts as Lymbonic Art. Musically there are plenty of bestial and unbelievably violent arrangements, but the final mix is so watered down and sterilized that literally every ounce of bite has been removed from everything.

There’s nothing more annoying than listening to a raging tune, only to be left with a McKayla Maroney scowl because the production is so weak. It’s one thing to have a thin/icy/lousy production if one is listening to a vintage Norwegian black metal album that is laced with a plethora of ambience and/or creepy atmosphere. In that regard, the tinny drums and fuzzy/wiry guitars are acceptable because it all fits into the overall aesthetics of the album (see: early Darkthrone, Emperor, Burzum, Mayhem, et al). But when it’s an album of this nature - one that is not relying on some sort of shtick - it’s supposed to have a meaty, robust, thunderous sound.

To make matters worse, the vast majority of the album is either simple blast beats underneath frenzied riffs or pitter-patter double bass behind a simple blackened death metal riff, one that is heard on virtually every song of the album. It goes without saying that the lack of depth to each song grows stale halfway in, regardless of how many spins the album gets, though “Endziel” is a standout track if there ever was one.

Unrelenting Fucking Hatred had more potential than almost every other album that has come out in the past decade. Everything was there to be had: Lord Worm, savage music, hatred, violence, etc. It’s all there but Rage Nucléaire dropped the ball on this one. ‘Tis such a monumental disappointment because this scribe was expecting Unrelenting Fucking Hatred to be a year-end top ten contender…

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