Nucleus – “Dosadi” (Stereogum Premiere)

“Generations of a tormented human-alien people, caged on a toxic planet, conditioned by constant hunger and war … “

Thus begins the appropriately death metal-sounding back cover blurb of The Dosadi Experiment, a 1977 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, the author best known for creating the Dune series. Science fiction-themed extreme metal has been around at least since the progressive thrash band Voivod started making weird noise in the early ’80s; meanwhile, this sub-subgenre of extreme metal might be relatively uncommon, but it’s still going strong today: Just last week we premiered “Agliptian Codex Cyborgization” from the “brutally absurd / absurdly brutal” astrophysics-obsessed technical death metal band Wormed. Make no mistake: We’re deep in the geek zone.

Nucleus, then, play a strain of death metal that hits the exact midpoint between the outer poles of Voivod and Wormed; it’s riff-driven old school death metal heavily informed by technical thrash, more in line with deeply nerdy, early-’90s death metal bands like Nocturnus (without the garish keyboards) and the even lesser-known psychedelic space-death of Timeghoul. “Dosadi” is short and simple; a grinding swirl of space dust in a vacuum. The chaotic intro riff resolves into a song undergoing explosive decompression, contorting in fits and starts before a formless solo squeals like a broken resistojet on an ailing satellite. Right around the two-minute mark, the perfect knuckle-dragging power riff pulls us back down the gravity well, and we’re on terra firma once more, ready to start again. Nucleus make this shit look easy. Listen.

Nucleus’ Sentient will be out on 4/15 via Unspeakable Axe.

Tags: Nucleus