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Nocturnal Breed - Napalm Nights

Nocturnal Breed
Napalm Nights
by Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan at 24 February 2014, 5:04 AM

It's 2014 and in 2007 we had the pleasure of the album ''Fields Of Rot'' by NOCTURNAL BREED. Why has it been such a gap? Who cares… I'm just glad they found it back to do another album because ''Fields Of Rot'' was a real corker… I was quite excited to listen to the new record and see where they had got to. I suppose even more now as the band features past and present members of, DIMMU BORGIR, SATYRICON, AETEMUS, and GEHENNA. With original guitarist, I. Matzor in place and guest appearances from, Noctumo Culto (DARKTHRONE) and A.E. Rattlehead (ex- NOCTURNAL BREED), I thought I'd be in for something a little extra.

The album opens with the mid paced 'The Devil Swept The Ruins'', fucking right he did, right down that valley of death! They out their foot on the gas for the solo and then break down to an atmospheric part II solo and end with the stomping mid pace once again. Black / Thrash the label blurb says… well it is Thrash and it is Black… and tastes good. ''Speedkrieg'', marching boots, encouraging propaganda like voices over laid and a cool riff opens the track with a great wah wah pedal guitar break over the top… nice. Great groove… a real classic feel.. .and loving the guitar lead work… got to love that old world Fast Eddie Clarke type wah wah… takes me back… Damn loving that. Cool track and liked the burp to end it… now that's… erm… Metal, old school, real and no shame. ''Cursed Beyond Recognition'' comes next… and an epic feel comes with it. Some nice Black Metal vocal sweeps and a tone of atmosphere… again some cool traditional guitar work and it's fucking refreshing to hear such cool harmony lines… the mix is just working on all levels… The main riff has a mood of its own and sits against both vocal approach and solo work perfectly, dark but not brooding but a descriptive storyline that just keeps you page turning… The next track ''The Bitch of Buchenwald'' has a throwback feel, almost early 80's to me… the riff and production feel anyway, not a great fan of that so much but NOCTURNAL BREED have a way of getting under your skin and funny to mention skin here. Ilse Koch was the ''Bitch of Buchenwald'' or ''The Witch of Buchenwald'' and a host of other nice variations on those titles also, she was the wife of Karl Otto, Nazi commander of Buchenwald and she enjoyed abusing prisoners even taken to collecting interesting tattoos from the skin of murdered inmates… nice lady… anyway I loved a band called BACKWATER from Germany in the day and here, the bass isn't  as in your face and ugly as I liked with BACKWATER,  but  just the feel of the track for me took me back…and once I was into the whole track it just grew up my back and sat on my shoulder like an old friend… ''Napalm Nights'' Now S.A. likens this theme to his own life in some ways… that in itself is interesting, stepping over corpses, burnt and dying men… bits and pieces of detritus. On route to accomplishing what? Victory or simple survival? As a track it pretty obvious as it opens the soundtrack is that of approaching war and the voice tells us, ''we ain't going nowhere accept back up that goddamn hill''… Classic Thrash feels al’a. ''Then There Were None'' by EXODUS, in fact, Paul Balloff ( R.I.P ) would have sat seamlessly on here…which is fine by me… ''Dawn Campaign Flamethrower Ridge'', Love is the theme here… oh fuck off… you didn't really think that did you? I see here why the label likens them to SODOM, KREATOR perhaps but I see DESTRUCTION too, I really do like how NOCTURNAL BREED marry the range of thrash style and add the Black vocal, it's about time  merges were done and the styles exposed as something that is simply diverse but connected but not simple as a genre but as just metal….The motor moves up a gear on ''Thrashiac'', bit of speedier thrash, a Euro Thrash feel but still with counters of US Thrash and  a great mix of the two, and as it's called 'Thrashiac' I would expect nothing less…''Bang That fucking head, Until Your Dead'', '' Thrash like a maniac''. Ok, consider it done.

''Under The Whip'' yeah… Heavy Fucking Metal! ACCEPT was the first band that came to mind and I'm not going into any other pointless lists of comparison beyond that. It's an 80's title and an 80's feel except its 2014 and it NOCTURNAL BREED. Just has a classic feel and it's so cool to hear on a new release, we are all closing the circle. Please though, don't let's have an avalanche of bandwagon jumpers or we'll end up lost again… Then comes ''Dragging The Priests'' and a more contemporary feel…kind of a mix of RAMSTEIN feel opening feel, although just in a sketch form and then into mood swinging more mid tempo end chugging thrash meets old school… then the pace quickens into speed and the solo hits… again into more mood tech production and finally closing with that… Thrash chugging that just makes the toes tap and some nice gunfire lays over an old recording of ''Praise The Lord'' hahaha… Loving that.. and so to our finale…''Krigshisser (D.N.K.)'' (Warmonger)… blast beats… with Black Metal riffage… and vocals, well NOCTURNAL BREED are Norwegian so from that cold dark north, well, Oslo, still it just caps  off the  album really well…and I have enjoyed the approach from the start… I feel it is all here, what we praise and love as a single genre but brings it all together a bit of it all to give you…what can only be NOCTURNAL BREED.. let’s have another and this time…not so fucking long to wait ok? The Production is cool and handled by NOCTURNAL BREED and Niccolai Ryen Christiansen and all I would ask is more bottom end… make the walls shake and rumble…coz some of those tracks would have been immense so thick… but… great job in spite of my personal preference. So now, go fucking get it.

4 Star Rating

1. The Devil Swept Ruins
2. Speedkrieg
3. Cursed Beyond Recognition
4. The Bitch of Buchenwald
5. Napalm Nights
6. Dawn Campaign Flamethrower Ridge
7.  Thrashiac
8. Under The Whip
9.  Dragging The Priests
10. Krighisser ( D.N.K. )
SA Destroyer – Vocals / Bass
Tex Terror- Drums
V. Fineideath – Guitar
I. Maztor – Lead Guitar
Record Label: Agonia Records


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Edited 06 December 2022

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