Pigs eat, cows graze and NUCLEAR ASSAULT, fast they blaze. On their second long player, the guys around ex-ANTHRAX, -S.O.D. boss pot-smoker Danny Lilker still step on the gas thoroughly, but at the same time they proceed a little more distinctively. They couldn’t quite compete with the predecessing album “Game Over”, but nevertheless “Survive” was and is a good bone-breaker.
The freshness and the merciless speed of the first album gave way to a more professional way of working, that is to say the songs had all been slowed down and formed more lavishly (at least they tried to do so). Sure, variation is necessary, but with NUCLEAR ASSAULT you rather wan’t to bang your head off instead of – to exaggerate it – listening devoutly. “Survive” didn’t turn out really slow either, but the disc’s recognizing value had actually decreased a lot.
But with time some songs, like the mind-blowing title track, “Fight To Be Free” which begins with a dramatic instrumental part and then turns into a murderous speed grenade, or the hellishly intense “Wired”, which is carried by an outstanding vocal performance by John Connely, detonate really violently. And you should take the LED ZEPPELIN cover version “Good Times Bad Times” humorously. All in all no classic, but no mistake either, you can have it. (Online October 19, 2004)