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Nuclear Power Trio – A Clear and Present Rager

Nuclear Power Trio – A Clear and Present Rager

Nuclear Power Trio - A Clear and Present Rager

  • Rating: 8/10
  • Release Date: 30 October, 2020
  • Label: Metal Blade Records
  • Musicians:
    Greg Burgess (Donald) – Lead Guitar Nick Schendzielos (Vladimir) – Bass Guitar Pete Webber (Kim) - Drums
  • Favorite songs:
    Grab ‘Em by the Pyongyang, Mutually Assured Seduction
  • For Fans of:
    Allegaeon, Animals as Leaders, Plini, Intervals, Andy James

With tongue firmly placed in cheek, Nuclear Power Trio offer up their first release “A Clear and Present Rager”. Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Kim Jong Un appear to have got together to form a supergroup. With a release date of 30th October 2020, just before the US presidential elections, they are hoping that this EP will catalyse a bold and conscientious path towards world peace.

Joking aside, this is actually the work of Greg Burgess (Allegaeon), Nick Schendzielos (Job for a Cowboy, Cephalic Carnage, ex Havok) and Pete Webber (Havok). The pedigree and musicianship of this band is second to none. The music is no nonsense metal fusion, mixing guitar virtuosity, growling slap bass, and technically superb drumming with Latin and Jazz influences. It’s catchy, upbeat, and downright feel good stuff.

That’s enough of the serious stuff, let’s get back to the satire; “I was really being tough. There’s maybe no one tougher than me — everyone knows it — and it was shocking, just hugely shocking, when we would go back and forth on what we wanted our music to be like, that we fell in love,” Donald said, reminiscing on initial conversations with Kim. “When I heard him play the drums for the first time, I said, now here’s a tremendous drummer. My hands are above-average sized, I assure you, and can reach many frets on the guitar. I need complementary talent on the drums. Kim is that talent, and we have a fantastic chemistry.”

With the intention of this being a purely instrumental project, they now just needed to secure the services of a bass player. Knowing the candidate needed to match both their undisputed authority and prodigious musicality, it came as no surprise they tapped Vladimir Putin for bass duties. When asked about joining the group’s audacious goal of peace through music, Vladimir said, “Everything will probably never be good for people, but we have to try. I believe in the power of music. Do you see my heart?” Vladimir was shirtless, on one of his majestic white horses, tapping a finger to his chest. “I play from here.”

The album kicks off with a killer number, the title track ‘A Clear and Present Rager’. It explodes into a fast paced, complex rhythm, dips into softer passages before returning to the more powerful norm, with the growls from the bass and catchy licks from the guitar. As you will see in the video of this track and the promo photographs, the band back up their façade by wearing masks of their alter egos. The masks were made by Landon Meier, and are pretty creepy, perhaps even more so than the real characters. I recently watched an online chat between Josh McMorran from Bloodshot Dawn and Greg. During this informative exchange, the Allegaeon guitarist came over as being very humble. I’m not sure he needs to resort to wearing a mask though.

Nuclear Power Trio, “A Clear and Present Rager” (click here if the video does not play)

“A Clear and Present Rager”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio. “Frankly, a lot of power trio recordings are just pathetic. We thought about records we all liked sonically and kept coming back to Cattle Decapitation, so it was terrific that Dave had us all out to beautiful Colorado to play golf and record” stated Donald.

Most of the tracks are quite short, but all pack a punch. The hilariously titled ‘Grab ‘Em by the Pyongyang’ starts with a bit of Spanish guitar and then carries on where the first track left off, with an irresistible groove. ‘The Fusion Collection’ has a funky rhythm with the bass slapping away and the use of a Wah-Wah pedal on the guitar. More of those catchy guitar licks run throughout the track. ‘Ukraine in the Membrane’ is a faster, heavier number with a breakdown in the middle and a bit of acoustic guitar, another heavy bit and then it fades out with them more Spanish guitar. Last but not least, the longest track on this release at just over 5 minutes, ‘Mutually Assured Seduction’ takes you through more of the same, with pace changes that will have you reaching for all your air instruments, not just the guitar.

It will be interesting how far they can take this idea, will the characters change.? The band obviously have great fun with this project, even the track titles are each a play on words. Although they’ve adopted this gimmick to promote themselves, in no way does it detract from the quality of the music. So, buy it, stick on repeat, it will get you through the day.

Track List:

  1. A Clear and Present Rager 3:07
  2. Grab ‘Em by the Pyongyang 3:30
  3. The Fusion Collusion 2:47
  4. Ukraine in the Membrane 4:42
  5. Mutually Assured Seduction 5:02

About the Author


I’m Bob, I hail from Robin Hood country (Nottinghamshire) in the UK. Rock and Metal music has played a big part in my life for many years. From playing guitar in local bands, to attending dozens of Festivals and countless concerts. I have been taking photos at gigs (whenever possible) for a number of years now, and as the camera gear has got better so have the photos. I continue to seek out new Bands and tend to prefer the more technical and heavy stuff these days. I live with my wife Sarah, who fortunately likes the heavy bands as well, and our cats who have to listen to it, whether they like it or not. Apart from gigs and photography (not just concerts) I also enjoy hill walking, films and discovering new beers (and drinking them).

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