Nuclear Assault – Brain Death (Song Review)

“Licensed to give death”

In 1989 the BBC documentary series Arena ran an hour-long episode called Heavy Metal. It was a huge deal for metal fans. Videotaped, rewatched repeatedly and quoted endlessly… “whooaa dugga dugga dugga!” There is a fantastic scene filmed in Nottingham’s Rock City nightclub where a circle of guys throw some unforgettable shapes to an amazingly hypnotic riff. Uncredited in the documentary, the source of this riff remained a mystery until years later when I heard the song Brain Death by Nuclear Assault.

Brain Death would be a pretty standard speed metal bash if it wasn’t for that riff kicking in at the 3.30min mark. There’s a quiet opening that builds up some nice dread and the chorus is instantly memorable but this song is all about the Nottingham Rock City mosh. A lot of bands might just play that kind of slower breakdown briefly before picking up the pace or launching into a guitar solo but Nuclear Assault ride it out for nearly 3 minutes, giving it that hypnotic intensity. And it gives you plenty of time to do some serious air guitar damage too. I love it and by the looks of the Nottingham Rock City footage, I’m not the only one. Whoaa dugga dugga dugga!

HMO Rating: 4 Out Of 5

17 thoughts on “Nuclear Assault – Brain Death (Song Review)”

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. A lot of great footage and interview moments. This was the doc that introduced Napalm Death to a lot of people. Made them mainstream stars for a while… cover of NME, appearances on kids TV… all sorts.

      At the time I have to say I wasn’t actually into Zep. I thought Page was just a weird busking drunk that they’d dug up somewhere hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

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