Nocturnal Breed
Napalm Nights 

Agonia Records 2014

After a long hiatus, one of Norway's thrash metal legends has returned with a rockin' new album.  And what do these unholy metal gods have in store for us, only the rockinest black thrash attack in quite some time.  Nocturnal Breed have, since their inception, taken thrash metal and infused with blackened aesthetics and rock n' roll flourishes.  The album opens with a meaty thrash riff and some chugging grooves on The Devil Swept The Ruins.  Shades of Laaz Rockit are definitely noticeable as the song continues its course only to give way to some Celtic Frost-ish uptempo thrash.  I think the clean guitar with spoken vocals might have been a step too far though.  Speedkrieg races along with a speed metal main riff and rock accents that surge like a relentless wave.  Echoes of Motorhead and Venom can be found in abundance throughout the song.  Continuing on with the Motorhead-ish feelings is The Bitch Of Buchenwald.  A catchy main riff grabs you by the scruff of your neck while the vocals capture the forcefulness of a gruffer Lemmy.  The title-track is a 12+ minute opus.  A meaty Bay Area thrash riff crushes you beneath its midtempo assault.  The vocals are destructive black metal shrieks that perfectly compliment the old school approach of the song.  I hear a Megadeth, Exodus, Metallica and so many other US thrash legends pulsing through this track's veins.  The later stages of the song devolve into a guitar noodling jam session that brings to mind some of the bluesier segments of Nuclear Assault.  Under The Whip centers around a massive Motley Crue riff, so much so, I almost thought this was a coversong when it first started.  The song oozes sex and sleaze while still managing to rock out with an endless stream of quick solos and a dragging chorus.  The new Nocturnal Breed is solid and has a lot of great riffs, however it is waaaay too long, clocking in at over an hour.  And there is too much window dressing with tons of solos and not enough straight-ahead thrashing!  With those issues stated, this is still a very interesting and captivating album and doesn't tarnish Nocturnal Breed's legacy one iota.  Thrash on you Nordic rockers, or should I say rock on you Nordic thrashers!  Either way seems fitting.