Nuclear War Now!
rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. 666
02. Yorkshire
03. Lucifer
04. Nokka Å Si
05. Ledera
06. Smerten
07. Alkohol
08. Ledera
09. 666
10. Love and Kiss
11. Smerten
12. Alkohol

The official consensus on black metal's evolution tends to focus on the contributions of VENOM, BATHORY and then, perhaps most definitively, MAYHEM. And rightly so, of course. But there are always missing links lurking in metal's obsidian shadows, and Norway's 666 are definitely worth a lot more than a footnote. Pre-dating MAYHEM by a couple of years, but only existing between '82 and '83, this Tromsø crew drew heavily and unashamedly from MOTÖRHEAD and VENOM, inadvertently bridging the gap between those bands' rock 'n' roll primitivism and the macabre and blasphemous extremity that was looming over a bloody, fire-damaged horizon. Not that 666 ever sounded remotely like a band with an agenda beyond making a horrible racket. These songs are as simplistic and straightforward as they come, captured as they are in the most lo-fi of sonic states. 666 never ventured into a studio during their brief existence, so what is left are raw and ragged live performances, presented at not-quite-demo quality, but delivered with the kind of snotty zeal that only teenage diehards can truly muster.

The best songs are up there with the VENOM, MOTORHEAD and TANK records that the band were obviously consuming with great alacrity: "666" is a suitably grim and relentless theme song, "Lucifer" repeats the same trick with even greater spite and brevity, "Alkohol" is all Lemmy rasp and DISCHARGE clatter, Tom Arne Hermansen barking and belching like a bilingual Cronos. Best of all, "Ledera" gives the NWOBHM blueprint a jolting dose of bad speed, lurching and flailing like md-PCP binge BLUE CHEER, as subtle as a brick to the face but, thankfully, a lot more enjoyable.

Realistically, this is the kind of unearthed treasure that will only appeal to metalheads with a taste for the ineffably raw. For much of this collection, snare drums sound like biscuit tins and guitars sound like indignant wasps in a bean can. But there's just enough dark magic floating around these brutish, raging bursts of rock 'n' roll fury to ensure that the link between this early Norwegian outbreak of chaos and black metal's eventual redefinition is plain to hear. Pleasingly, the band are believed to have reconvened a few years ago, so this could be the ideal way to herald their wholehearted return.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).