One things to be said about Formula for Anarchy is that it doesn’t really sound that great due to the lack of bass in the mix. Yes, it’s present, but as a very low hum that doesn’t really offer much of a backbone to the recording, something a little necessary given the sharper buzzing distortion of the lower tuned guitars. The effort as a whole sounds hot and uncomfortable, which doesn’t always work in the band’s favor. Sometimes that heated environment can enhance the aggression on display, though when catering to more traditional thrash metal values, the songs can become a bit boring. Thankfully the tight performances do at least keep the aggressive attitude alive and well more times than not. Of course, this only further establishes the clear band influences that run rampant throughout the effort.
“Scam 38” will immediately grab listeners as something torn straight from Slayer‘s mid-career catalogue, though laced with a chorus that throws a little two-step hardcore into the mix. This makes the familiar anger and execution a little more upbeat, something the pit will take full advantage of. The goes same for “Self-Righteous Hypocrites” during the faster early Sepultura-like start, a group that can also be referenced later on in this recording. The enthusiastic frustration quickly implodes on itself, however, bringing up a darker, commanding side with enough restraint that you’ll be waiting for Tom Araya to randomly shout “Now I shall reign in blood!” heading into one of the briefly silent bridges out of the chorus, especially given the shift into “Corporate Corruption” that not only has a mixture of that very group from that particular era, but also finds some Kreator scattered about, more so in the chorus.
“When Four Means None” is one of the more impressive cuts due to how tight and precise the execution can be. It does, however, scream early Sepultura influence in a way that feels more like an homage than anything. Even “Confront” manages to channel their level of hostility, though masks it with a hint of grindcore adrenaline from time to time. Honestly, while the rest of the recording is actually rather impressive, this track in particular shows what this band brings to the table a lot better than any of the other tracks presented.
While the idolism is pretty apparent much of the time, Nuclear still manages to make most of it their own through tight as hell performances, high-octane anger, and additional grindcore and crossover elements that compliment the bouts of all the bands mentioned who clearly influenced this band. From time to time you do get something a little less creative and far more conventional, but, as a whole, Formula for Anarchy can be summed up as more of a love letter to the darker side of thrash from the eighties into the mid-nineties that we’ve al grown to know and love, standing as more of a parallel to the likes of modern-day old-school worshippers like Toxic Holocaust and Gama Bomb. Formula for Anarchy may not hit the listener as something worth really investing time into on the first few spins, but given some time and a little more focusing on what’s going on in addition to the obvious, you’ll see that this is an effort that has a lot more going on than plain old worship to the legends of the style.