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Biography

With the mid eighties Thrash explosion, New York's NUCLEAR ASSAULT leapt to the fore due to the prime motivating force of ex-ANTHRAX bassist Dan Lilker. Although the gangly, mop-topped bassist had actually been a co-founder of ANTHRAX, having named the band and been pivotal in the crafting of debut album 'Fistful Of Metal', he severed ties with ANTHRAX in 1983, due to disagreements with then vocalist Neal Turbin. It took two and a half years to assemble his next project, the far rawer NUCLEAR ASSAULT. In the interim, Lilker had involved himself with the commercially successful spoof Metal project of S.O.D. ('Stormtroopers of Death') alongside ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian and M.O.D. vocalist Billy Milano.

NUCLEAR ASSAULT's line-up for the inaugural 'Brain Death' EP of 1986 was Lilker, vocalist John Connelly, guitarist Anthony Bramante and ex-HARTER ATTACK and TT QUICK drummer Glenn Evans. Connelly too had in fact been a formative member of ANTHRAX. However, the inaugural version of NUCLEAR ASSAULT had counted the inclusion of Mike Bogush on guitar and Scott Duboys on drums. The latter would re-surface as a member of WARRIOR SOUL.

The group's first full-length set, the Alex Perialas produced 'Game Over' recorded at Pyramid Sound Studios in Ithaca, New York during May 1986, saw issue the same year. Notoriety would be immediately gained by the inclusion of the â??songâ? entitled 'Hang The Pope'. With NUCLEAR ASSAULT's rapidly growing profile on the crossover scene, Evans found time to invest in a new label, Arena Records. The first release on Arena would be the 'Salt In The Wound' single by his previous outfit HARTER ATTACK.

1987's mini-album 'The Plague', a collection of old and new material cut at The Music Grinder, Los Angeles with Randy Burns behind the desk and including the infamous 'Buttfuck' (a song lyrically aimed at MÖTLEY CRÜE vocalist VINCE NEIL), and on later re-presses tamed down to 'You Figure It Out'. 'The Plague' was originally to be titled 'Cross Of Iron' and to have had a cross as the sleeve artwork. However, the American record company Combat cited possible objections that may have come from religious organizations. NUCLEAR ASSAULT's first foray into Europe came the same year, with dates alongside AGENT STEEL.

Nuclear Assault quickened the pace with 1988's 'Survive', another Randy Burns production, , this album giving the group a number 145 placing on the US national charts. A return to Europe in 1988 as guests to SLAYER gave NUCLEAR ASSAULT access to far greater crowds and, fuelled by their reaction, the band returned for further dates as headliners, support being granted by ACID REIGN and RE-ANIMATOR. Further gigs saw the band opening for SEPULTURA in South America.

British label Music For Nations kept the product flowing in 1989 with a brace of EPs, 'Fight To Be Free' and 'Good Times, Bad Times', headed up by the LED ZEPPELIN cover and featuring another wry stage favourite in 'Lesbians'. Successive outing 'Handle With Care', delivered in 1989, brought the band to its artistic peak, hitting the US charts at number 126, and would be proudly caught on 1990's 'Live At Hammersmith Odeon' album.

As Lilker announced details of his new act BRUTAL TRUTH the same year and an immediate signing with Earache Records, it appeared to fans that Nuclear Assault was losing priority. The 1992 album, 'Out Of Order' on IRS Records, a less than enthusiastically received release oddly brandishing a cover of SWEET's 'Ballroom Blitz', seemed to confirm this view. Torn between BRUTAL TRUTH and a lacklustre NUCLEAR ASSAULT, Lilker opted for the former.

Glenn Evans and John Connelly rebuilt the band by drafting former ACE FREHLEY bassist Karl Cochrane on guitar and erstwhile WHITE LION, BLACK SABBATH and GREAT WHITE bassist Dave Spitz. Cochrane soon lost his place to a returning Anthony Bramante and a heavy touring period then ensued. The band set about another American tour in 1992, bolstering their live sound by including former TT QUICK guitarist Dave DiPietro and ex-PROPHET guitarist Scott Metaxas. The last effort under the banner NUCLEAR ASSAULT came with 1993's 'Something Wicked' with the band comprising now of Connelly, DiPietro, Metaxas and Evans. Headline shows across Europe to promote the album in June saw DEPRESSIVE AGE as support act. Meantime, Dan Lilker contributed bass to the 1994 HOLY MOSES album 'No Matter What's The Cause'.

Following a lengthy run of commendable albums Lilker would disband BRUTAL TRUTH following completion of an Australian tour in September 1998. Lilker resumed activity with S.O.D. for their 'Bigger Than The Devil' album, the bassist also operating Black Metal band HEMLOCK as a side endeavour. Yet another venture found Lilker assembling THE RAVENOUS in 2000 for the 'Assembled In Blasphemy' album. Included were NECROPHAGIA's Killjoy and Chris Reifert of AUTOPSY.

Lilker would surprisingly announce the reformation of the classic NUCLEAR ASSAULT line up comprising John Connelly, Anthony Bramante and Glenn Evans, for an appearance at the 2002 'Wacken Open Air' Metal festival in Germany and the New Jersey 'Metal Meltdown IV' event. Shortly after, a live album, recorded by Screaming Ferret Wreckords at band's May 11th performance in Attleboro would be confirmed as the band's opening reunion shot. Anthony Bramante bowed out in August and Erik Burke, a scene veteran with VALPURGA, KALIBAS, LETHARGY, SULACO, MUNGBEANDEMON and BLATANT CRAP TASTE connections, took over on guitar. NUCLEAR ASSAULT got back into the touring mode kicking off a gig in Springfield, Virginia on December 29th which would trigger a whole rash of gigs throughout January of 2003.

Connelly would also guest for CANDY STRIPER DEATH ORGY, contributing both guest lead vocals and guitar to their debut album. Scott Metaxas would be announced as in the chair for co-production duties on Billy Milano's 2002 M.O.D. album.

The band's continuing resurgence would be further progressed as NUCLEAR ASSAULT was confirmed as participants in the April 2003 European 'No Mercy' festivals. The group formed up part of a heavyweight billing comprising TESTAMENT, MARDUK, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, DEATH ANGEL, PRO-PAIN, MALEVOLENT CREATION, DARKANE, and CALLENISH CIRCLE.

In May the band inducted the MINUS, NUCLEAR THEORY, RITE BASTARDS, DENYTHEFALLOUT and AIMED AGGRESSION credited guitarist Scott Harrington to replace Bramante. UK and European dates projected into October, dubbed the 'Bonded By Metal' trek, found the band co-headlining an old school rientated Thrash / Death Metal roster comprising EXODUS, AGENT STEEL, MORTICIAN, GOD DETHRONED , OCCULT and CALLENISH CIRCLE.

A brand new NUCLEAR ASSAULT album '3rd World Genocide', featuring a guest appearance from former guitarist Eric Burke, was recorded for Screaming Ferret Wreckords during the Spring of 2004. Studio guests included Eric Paone of CANDY STRIPER DEATH ORGY contributing backing vocals whilst Travis Horton of RED RIGHT HAND and DISTRUST added vocals and banjo to the track 'Long Haired Asshole'. Included would be a cover of JOHNNY CASH's 'Folsom Prison Blues'.

NUCLEAR ASSAULT opened 2005 with a burst of South American shows allied with fellow Thrash veterans DEATH ANGEL. European dates saw the band being joined by guitarist Karl Cochran, a veteran of the ACE FREHLEY and JOE LYNN TURNER bands. US shows in August witnessed a road partnership with TESTAMENT. The band was included the 'Metal Crusaders' North American tour, set to take place in May and June 2006 alongside KATAKLYSM, GRAVEWORM, VADER, SPEEDKILL/HATE and THE ABSENCE. However, due to what was described as an "urgent immediate family situation", the band dropped off this tour to be replaced by Germany's DESTRUCTION.

In September and October Lilker temped for SOULFLY's North American dates after regular bassist Bobby Burns suffered a mild stroke. NUCLEAR ASSAULT released its first DVD, 'Louder Harder Faster', in October 2006 via Screaming Ferret Wreckords. This was filmed during the band's performance at the 2005 'Louder Harder Faster' festival on June 5th 2005. The disc also included vintage live footage, promotional videos, in the studio footage, unreleased songs, and an interview with longtime members Danny Lilker and Glenn Evans.

NUCLEAR ASSAULT were forced to cancel their appearance at the August 2008 'Hole In The Sky' festival in Bergen, Norway after Glenn Evans broke his wris, requiring surgery.

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