Sunday Sesh: Do the Splits with Nucleus and Macabra

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Spend your Sunday getting weird with this new surprise split from Nucleus and Macabra.

Aren’t splits wonderful? Two (or three or four!) similar yet distinct bands coming together and offering up either unreleased tracks or brand new ones that offer a glimpse into a band’s evolution (or lack thereof). Sometimes, on the most joyous of occasions, we’ll even get a full length’s worth of material between the two bands. Each of these is the case for the new split between Nucleus and Macabra, and boy is it a bruiser.

Nucleus is a name that should be familiar to those around these parts as their debut, Sentient, was one of the better and more off kilter death metal albums released last year. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the three songs here are the band’s strongest to date. Each track varies wildly from the one that precedes it. Opener “Fragment” sees the band channeling their inner Timeghoul (I KNOW I’M SORRY, BUT IT’S THE APPROPRIATE COMPARISON HERE) as the winding riffs funnel into a strange harmony buried underneath almost chant like cleans, while “Assimilation” sees the band in full-on doom mode. Their final song, “Beacon,” is more akin to Sentient than the two tracks before it, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Macabra, on the other hand, is a band I was wholly unfamiliar with before this split, and that was evidently a mistake. For the Macabra half of the split, Mark Riddick brought THE RIFFS. I mean all of the riffs. All of them. “Breath Thief” alone has enough to fuel every shady black metal band that people “only listen to for the riffs” and then some. Now, said riffs are only so good without quality composition, and Macabra brings that too. The songs dance around a fair bit, never stay in one place for too long, and always keep you guessing just like any good death metal should.

If you like your death metal both spacey and freshly exhumed, then this is about as much of a sure thing as you’re ever going to get. I’ve had it on repeat pretty much non-stop since it popped up on Friday. Unfortunately it looks like it’s only available on Spotify and iTunes at the moment, but info on a bandcamp/physical release should be coming pretty quick.

In the meantime jam out if you can, check out that siqq Seagrave art as best you can (no high res screens yet), and let me know some of your favorite splits from this year in the comments.

  • Lacertilian

    Fuqq….still only available to stream on Spotify? The 15 seconds I heard got me keen af. If there’s a better song on this than “Cube” I’ll shit my pants. Gonna have to spin Sentient again now.
    Unless Nucleus or UAR has signed an (unlikely) exclusive deal with Spotify I don’t get why offering a simultaneous bandcamp stream didn’t happen. I understand holding off on selling digital copies until the physical copies are printed to ensure you sell your order/stock, but its pretty standard to see just the songs loaded onto bandcamp for streaming without a purchasing/download option (until a later date). Maybe they’re just busy or there’s something obvious my stupid entitled arse is looking over. Eric, Dave, help!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/36ba55b48fd039014374538c5eaf8d84fd89ac8d6d8e119e80ccfdb760bab0e4.jpg

    • Proof of irreducible complexity?

    • Dave Muntean

      When i figure it out ill let you know, i think it mightve come out accidentally early on digital.

  • Just Hans

    Confused Macabra with Massacra for a minute and was quite surprised.

    Regardless of the times they introduced me to good new bands, I tend to stay away from splits for some reason unless a band has nothing else available or I want everything a band ever made. Might be because they’re so common in Grind, where hunting down 15 splits released on at least as many different labels with 2 minutes (at best) of material on each just seems too damn tedious.

    Other end of the spectrum: the Conan/Slomatics split has material of good quantity and quality, and that cover art is awesome.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZXocWGANbY

    • fellow split avoider here. (okay that’s not fair, i just don’t seek them out.)
      when i’m looking for something good to jam on the Zune, for instance last year’s split with Burials and Exhausted Prayer, i never know which artist to scroll to. so i might spend a few moments in the “B” section before realizing that it’s filed under “E”.
      #it’sahardknocklife

      • Just Hans

        That is definitely another thing that bothers me, having them separated like that. Guess I could just browse by album, but who the hell does that.

        • Splits need to just stop it already. I would be perfectly happy to pay more for a two-song ep if it means not having to download the two songs I don’t want.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            No #YearOfTheSplit2017

          • Just Hans

            Curmudgeon is a really cool word.

          • GO FLY A KITE JUST HANS.

          • Just Hans

            Just an observation.

          • So’s yer face.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      There is some good split shit happening, my man.

    • Dave Muntean

      Well this split is over half an hou of music fyi. Nucleus side is 17 minutes

    • Taylor

      Confused massacra with mascara. Needless to say, it didn’t make much sense.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY
  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    This got me checking out Macabra too, and there were moments on their latest LP that even had me thinking of Nocturnus, but in a much more modern and prog-instead-of-tech kind of riffs.

  • Sid Vicious Promos

    Is the new At The Drive In album good?

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      I’m not the best reference point in this case, seeing I’m not much of a fan of art-punk, I couldn’t really get into the band’s past work and I was never much of a fan of The Mars Volta either – though I could understand what people liked in both bands’ music – but I checked out some of the stuff on the new ATDI album and I thought it was terribad.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        Well I guess I’ll be buying the new Grateful Dead live album.

      • KJM, Dr. Disco

        I like TMV, never could grasp ATDI.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          TMV is a band I’ve tried to get into time and time again, but I’m just unable to. There’s something about their sound that just rubs me the wrong way.

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            For the most part Zeppelin-esque Prog Rock is an easy genre for me to enjoy, especially if you throw in a little Floyd and Santana.

            Funny thing is, Cedric Bixler-Zavala hates it when people describe TMV that way. Oh well.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I like Zeppelin, Floyd, prog rock, Santana…but I dunno…TMV never did it for me.
            I’d love to say the reasons for that are Zavala’s high pitched vocals and his chaotic, almost spastic way of singing at times…but then again I usually don’t mind high pitched vocals (classic hard rock, Geddy Lee, epic metal…) and I’m a fan of The Dillinger Escape Plan (even more chaotic and spastic than TMV).
            I could never really put my finger on why TMV doesn’t seem to work for me…

          • The Tetrachord of Archytas

            TMV will always have their roots in post hardcore to me. I think that’s why I prefer deloused over anything else. As a prog band, they’re instrumental bits are basically wah guitar solos, not the usually wankery. It’s cool but it doesn’t really develop themes in the way a lot of prog bands do. as a chaotic band, they’re sound is too drenched in psychelia to really be all that hard hitting.

    • The Tetrachord of Archytas

      I haven’t heard the whole thing but I’m a fan so far. I felt the last few mars volta bits were a tad uninspired so this a bit refreshing. If we’re talking post hardcore/art punk stuff I still think the refused reunion/album is better

      • KJM, Dr. Disco

        I liked Octahedron but Noctourniquet(sp?) was meh.

        • The Tetrachord of Archytas

          Yeah I actually enjoyed Octagedron now that I think about it. I don’t think anything on that album really grabbed me though.

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            The Bedlam In Goliath was their last truly great album.

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    Will check! Album art RULES

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY
      • Señor Jefe El Rossover

        I haven’t listened to the Gamma Ray in a long time, might try to remedy that today. I like the band well enough though.

        Death or Glory on the other hand is a freaking amazing album. Rvnning Wild rip it up on that record, definitely one of their strongest efforts.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    Nu-cu-lus! Looking forward to this. Not a Spotifier or Ituner though.

  • KJM, Dr. Disco

    OT: Approx T-minus 6 hours until Anthrax at HOB Boston. Gonna leave home as late as possible so I can avoid Code Orange & Devil Wears Prada and I’m not staying for KSE.

  • Sid Vicious Promos
  • KJM, Dr. Disco

    Of the so-called Big 4, Anthrax are currently the ones that have held up the best. 10 years ago I would’ve said Slayer were.

    • GoatForest

      That’s really sad, too, considering Anthrax were originally the weakest of the Four.

      • KJM, Dr. Disco

        For me, it’s Megadeth. I only like their 1st two albums and they’re not that great live, at least they weren’t the 3 times I saw them.

        • GoatForest

          That’s fair.