Nuclear Assault is an American Thrash / Heavy Metal Band from New York City Formed in 1985 by Dan Lilker & John Connelly
John Connelly - Guitar & Lead Vocals
Erik Burke - Guitar & Backing Vocals
Dan Lilker - Bass & Vocals
Glenn Evans - Drums
Projecting the subtle symphonic sweetness of a pounding jack hammer demolishing all previously established rock foundations, Nuclear Assault first exploded onto the New York City underground music scene in 1985.
Formed by Big Apple thrash metal poster-boy, bassist Dan Lilker, and guitarist/vocalist John Connelly, the band's original lineup also briefly included guitarist Mike Bogush and drummer Scott Duboys. However, lead guitarist Anthony Bramante and drummer Glenn Evans soon were brought into the fold, and the "golden era" Nuclear Assault lineup was set in stone.
Quickly taking the management reigns, Evans began shopping the band's demo tapes in short order. Following an all-out bidding war between various prospective labels, Nuclear Assault ultimately opted for a deal with indie metal giant, Combat Records.
With the release of its 1986 debut, Game Over, Nuclear Assault cemented an immediate global reputation for possessing impeccable, precision thrash riffs and undeniable, authentic hardcore cred, combined with biting social commentary and an irreverent sense of humor.
Nuclear Assault soon signed with Miles Copeland's I.R.S. Records and in 1988 the band's major label debut, Survive, had arrived in stores worldwide. Within three months of its release, Survive sold over 200,000 copies and was planted firmly in Billboard magazine's Top 200. The music video for the single, "Brainwashed," also became an oft played clip on MTV's weekly Headbangers Ball program. Now recognized along with Anthrax and Overkill as comprising NYC's "Thrash Trinity," Nuclear Assault was tapped as the opening act on Slayer's 1988 European tour.
1989 saw the release of the band's crown jewel, Handle with Care. Featuring the popular video singles, "Critical Mass" and "Trail of Tears," the record spent six months on the Billboard charts and sold nearly 400,000 units. In hisAllMusic.com review, critic Eduardo Rivadavia noted, "Handle with Care is a record which stands the test of time as one of the East Coast's best offerings to the thrash metal genre."
By the spring of 1990, Nuclear Assault was crushing the international concert market, on tour with such contemporaries as Testament, Exodus and Savatage - packing venues throughout Europe, South America, Japan, Mexico and the U.S. The band's apex is chronicled and celebrated in its 1990 home video release, Live at Hammersmith Odeon.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼After five grueling years of non-stop recording and touring, Lilker, Connelly, Bramante and Evans found themselves succumbing to the typical rock star/music biz pressures and pitfalls. In short, Nuclear Assault was becoming splintered. Hence, the aptly titled 1991 album, Out Of Order, fell short of fan and label expectations. By 1992, Dan Lilker had left the group and Bramante was dismissed shortly thereafter.
Bassist Scott Metaxas and one-time T.T. Quick guitarist Dave DiPietro were brought on-board for the band's final I.R.S. album, Something Wicked, in 1993 - with the title track appearing in the motion picture, Warlock: The Armageddon. However, at the conclusion of a successful 1994 European tour, the group soon officially disbanded.
Eight years later, Nuclear Assault's classic lineup reunited for a handful of shows in 2002 - including appearances at the Metal Meltdown IV festival held in Asbury Park, New Jersey and at the iconic New York City venue, CBGB. A live 2002 concert performance in Massachusetts was recorded and ultimately released as the 2003 album, Alive Again.
Following the brief reunion, Bramante was replaced by guitarist Erik Burke and Nuclear Assault continued to tour at home and abroad - building its strongest fan base since 1990. In 2005, the band released Third World Genocide, its first new studio album in more than a decade. Music critic Greg Prato commented, "(With Third World Genocide) Nuclear Assault has wisely gotten back to basics - thrash metal riffs, brutal drumming and almost hardcore-esque hollering."
To commemorate its upcoming 30th anniversary, Nuclear Assault is set to reunite again and will release a new album in 2015. The current lineup, featuring Lilker, Connelly, Evans and Burke also will launch a "farewell" world tour that will keep the band on the road through 2016. In the words of Dan Lilker, "We're going out with a bang!" - a sentiment echoed by Evans. Stand by for the "Final Assault!"