Nocturnal Breed
Napalm Nights


4.0
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
March 7th, 2014 | 20 replies


Release Date: 03/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hear the call of the thrashiac!

Napalm Nights had quite the benchmark to live up to: Fields of Rot, its predecessor, is one of the finest examples of modern thrash metal done right, with its ferocious punky attitude and riffs galore. Just one listen of "Wicked, Vicious & Violent" or "Iron Bitch" will most certainly solidify that point. Seven years in the making, Nocturnal Breed’s latest album isn’t as immediate, fast, or menacing, but it does have one very important thing in common with the band’s 2007 outing: both records are quality to the bone. There’s no magic, no hidden tricks responsible for Napalm Nights's greatness – the group behind it simply knows how to write effective thrash metal. Whether they’re going two hundred miles per hour or are cruising around in their deathmobile, you can expect quality madness to ensue either way.

Compared to Fields of Rot, Napalm Nights is a different animal. While the former had a visible punk aesthetic mixed in, Nocturnal Breed’s latest offering is a much more rock ’n’ roll drenched record. Lightning quick riffing and the in your face bite which governed before have largely been abandoned in favor of longer, mid-tempo songs that take their time to build up. The best example of this is the behemoth-sized title track, which at one point doesn’t seem to be hurrying anywhere with its plodding main riff, but then out of nowhere a sweet solo erupts (on multiple occasions) and the whole face of the track changes. Make no mistake, just because Nocturnal Breed have slowed down doesn’t mean the material on Napalm Nights isn’t as quality as that found on Fields of Rot. The new album shows a different side of the band, one that glorifies devilish rock 'n' roll, but at their core Nocturnal Breed are the same thrashheads intent on wreaking havoc. The weapons in their arsenal have changed, but the mentality of the soldiers is the same.

Commendably, in their transformation, Nocturnal Breed haven’t forgotten about those who appreciated their previous, more stinging style of play. Tracks such as "Speedkrieg" or the aptly titled "Thrashiac" still thrash with the best of them, and most songs have sections where the band suddenly accelerates. The guitar sound is less metallic and punk as the rock 'n' roll influences shine through, but the required attitude is still there. Frontman S. A. Destroyer howls and shreaks as powerfully as he did seven years ago, and from the cover art to the lyrics, the themes haven’t changed for Nocturnal Breed – only the times. The main agenda of the band has clearly stayed the same: rock hard or don’t rock at all.

Napalm Nights is a great effort from these Norwegian thrashers. They have changed up their style in the seven years that separate their two latest records, and while this has resulted in a slower and less reckless approach to thrash, the songwriting chops and mean attitude of the band haven’t vanished anywhere. If Fields of Rot was a full on assault on the listener, Napalm Nights is a tactical, cleverly planned attack – both have their advantages in different situations. What the album lacks in speed, it makes up in compositions and savvy. There are enough intricacies on every track to keep both thrash lovers and casual listeners of heavy music appeased, and most importantly, longer songs equals more metal – something these guys know how to play. Like the presence of a seasoned veteran in crunch time, Nocturnal Breed’s presence in the current landscape of thrash metal is invaluable.




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user ratings (12)
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3.5
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not to worry, the review isn't based on the stream that has been up for like 24 hours. I've had the promo for this for over a month now.

Great stuff this. Album is streaming here: http://www.metalhammer.co.uk/news/exclusive-scuzzed-up-oslo-thrashers-nocturnal-breed-stream-new-album-in-full/

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6146 Comments


Excellent write-up Magnus, will check the stream out the first chance I get.


Edit:

Bandcamp album stream - http://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/napalm-nights

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

Willie
Moderator
March 7th 2014


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I don't know if I've heard this yet. Will check it out. Great review.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah thanks for reminding me about the stream, Voivod. I'll link it in the first comment.

@Trey
It's streaming so you can give it a go as soon as you'd like.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


16410 Comments


gona have riffs gon be fast gona thrashh

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6146 Comments


^^^this haha

Album's great with some really weird twists (vintage samples, odd tempo transitions, etc.)

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


18521 Comments


fields of rot thrashes my ass ill have to check this out, ive been in a huge metal mood lately

sweet review

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


16410 Comments


agreed fields of rot slays for days

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. I like Fields of Rot a little more, but this is great as well. As long as you won't be expecting a part 2 of that album, you should dig.



manosg
March 8th 2014


6135 Comments


Great review Magnus. The track is really good, I can listen to a lot of Motorhead influences.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

south_of_heaven 11
March 8th 2014


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is fucking awesome.

Fields of Rot is just a little bit better...but this is so good.

I think my biggest complaint is the first half of the album is insanely good, and the 2nd half is very solid. It's a bit top heavy. I'm also in love with the title track.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2014


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@manosg
Yeah, I can too (re: Motorhead). I wouldn't say the track is necessarily a great representation of the whole album, but it rocks so whatever haha.

@soh11
I'm glad the album didn't disappoint you. I know you absolutely loved Fields of Rot, so it would have been a shame if you turned out disliking this.

Tyrael
March 9th 2014


20883 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rules

great job as usual, magnus

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2014


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Favorite track?

RoyalImperialGuard
March 9th 2014


1323 Comments


rules so hard.

Tyrael
March 10th 2014


20883 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'Thanks man. Favorite track?'

Speedkrieg

jamz and I'm a big sucker for gang vocals

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2014


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's like my third favorite I think. For me the two tied for first are the title track and Dragging The Priests. The former is just an epic thrash song with a sweet chorus and the latter has such cool changes in pace.

south_of_heaven 11
March 10th 2014


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

NAAAPALMMMMM NIGHHHHTSSSSS

m/

RoyalImperialGuard
March 10th 2014


1323 Comments


M/ hasn't been this m/ in forever.

SharkTooth
March 18th 2014


4562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Now I know what I'm listening to next

Digging: King Hobo - King Hobo



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