Nocturnal Breed – Napalm Nights (Agonia Records)

When you thought it was over seven years ago, they come back from the ashes with a new line up and much fuel to burn in the satanic thrash metal war… 


When Nocturnal Breed appeared in the middle of 1990’s, it was like a step back in the framework of music industry: in the post-grunge era, when underground meant to be death metal or black metal, these band from Norway went against the grain and released thrash metal a la Destruction/Kreator.

Now years later it seems obvious what they were trying to do, but these “suicidal” guys (in a marketing sense) managed to survive and to lead (along with Aura Noir, Desaster, Gehennah (from Sweden, not to be confused with Norwegian Gehenna which is a proper Black Metal band whose Nocturnal Breed’s bassist and vocalist S. A. Destroyer is an alumni ) the then “new wave of thrash black metal” .

But even so, after the excellent and destructive album Fields of Rot, the band disappeared and now they are killing everything in sight with their new album.

The Devil Swept the Ruins is an upbeat anthemic song, with lots of heavy satanic metal inside their black thrash relaying on the raddest chorus, harsh high-pitched voice and beefy rifferama that makes impossible for headbangers to just ignore. Fucking A.

Speedkrieg has an old Destruction vibe that will make headbangers like me to remember the old days of true thrash mania.

Cursed Beyond Recognition strangely remembers a modern-day Kreator, or to be more exact, their countryfellows Sarke. A “melodic” piece inside the chaos but if you know the quality of Nocturnal Breed you’ll understand what I meant by “melodic”.

Nocturno Culto, not coincidently, the very Sarke’s vocalist, does guest back vocals in the next song The Bitch of Buchenwald. This song has that Motörhead feeling that is so characteristic in old NB albums! Pure Speed metal attack that would make Fenriz smile with satisfaction!

Now a downer: the title track. This number is what doesn’t make this opvs the album of the year (so far). The album clocks at 65 minutes and 13 are off of this song: a midtempo humdrum song, totally unnecessary… It could be renamed Wear Out your Welcome. Oh well.

But the happiness comes back again with the devastating Trashiac. I think the name says for itself. These one has the guest appearance of ex-guitarist A.E. Rattlehead.

That’s when the tracks begin to morph themselves into a more oriented black metal music. It’s in the Scandinavian blood. The penultimate heavy-then-thrash-then-black Dragging The Priest is the perfect sample of the thin line between these two styles. Solos are stringent, and the black speed velocity is so vicious that eardrums ask for peace in the middle of the satanic war that Nocturnal Breed brought to the fold.

Last song, the PURE Darkthrone-esque black metal assault called Krigshisser D.N.K features Nocturno Culto over again, but this time in the lead vocals. There are no thrashy gimmicks here dude. Just old school Norwegian art. I mean, if someone said to me this was a new Darkthrone song, I would totally believe! This is a great closing number.

Napalm Nights is a great successor for the Fields of Rot and fans (old and new alike) will not be deceived with this album. Although it has its ebbs and flows, it’s Nocturnal Breed  after all. Please, thrash safe!

(Daniel Death)

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