Nocturnal Breed [Norway]
For the past 7 years, Norwegian blackened thrash metal band Nocturnal Breed has been lying low, having all but disappeared with their previous output Fields of Rot. This year sees the highly anticipated return of the band with their brand new album, their fifth full length release in the form of Napalm Nights.
Right from the get go, the rock and roll attitude that the band takes in writing their music is rather obvious, with the swagger on opening track The Devil Swept the Ruins being rather reminiscent of fellow Norwegians Satyricon with the fusion of that simplistic playing and that black metal grittiness. But as soon as Speedkrieg begins, the band switches lanes into a more speed metal/crossover style, with the playing style of the band easily reminding one of bands such as Joel Grind’s Toxic Holocaust and Tiger Junkies, as well as Japanese blackened thrash bands Abigail and Barbatos. The Lemmy-styled vocals especially helps to reinforce that old school touch and rock and roll moments on the album.
Yet despite the entire rock and roll vibe that the band gives off, the band shows that there is a somewhat sensitive side to their songwriting as well. The lead guitars/solo moments on tracks like The Devil Swept the Ruins easily display this with these being some of the softest moments on the album, and the melodic sensibilities that are shown by Axeman and Fineideath. Songs like Cursed Beyond Recognition are also rather nice, melodic tracks, coming in nicely after the chaos of Speedkrieg, giving listeners a short respite from the high octane listening experience so far.
The title track, Napalm Nights is probably the most interesting of the lot over here, going for more than 12 minutes and showing the more atmospheric side of the band, what with the opening sound samples and the mid-pace, but heavy playing style that is utilised for the most part of the album. The heavy chugging playing style on the track at times even brings about comparisons with bands such as Metallica.
In fact, most of the tracks that are on Napalm Nights mange to sound somewhat different from each other, with each giving off a different vibe and showing off a different style of playing of Nocturnal Breed, and this is definitely something that captured my attention. There is no doubt something for everyone who is a fan of old school rock and roll music over here, and with Napalm Nights, Nocturnal Breed proves that the 7 years of wait has not been in vain.
Personal highlights: Speedkrieg, The Bitch of Buchenwald