Once in awhile, buying an album for the cover art works out. I bought this album mostly because of the cover, but also partially because the band came highly praised by many people on the Metal Archives for being a really good modern thrash metal band, without being retro. I had some idea of what I was getting when I threw this in the shopping cart at Hell's Headbangers, the same time that I bought the earlier posted Deceased... album. But I was still blown away.
But first, a little history. Thrash metal was huge in the 1980's. There were two countries at the forefront: the U.S. and Germany. The U.S. produced Metallica, Testament, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Exodus, Overkill, and many, many more. Germany produced Sodom, Destruction, Kreator, Holy Moses, Mekong Delta, Tankard, and more. However, as thrash became a worldwide phenomenon, bands from other countries soon picked it up. Norway, known for its black metal even got in on the act. Which brings us to Nocturnal Breed.
Nocturnal Breed formed in 1996 in Oslo, Norway, featuring a former member of Gehenna. The band plays an updated, modernized version of German-styled thrash metal. It's fast, intense, and aggressive as all hell. The band often gets lumped in with blackened thrash, but the vocals are the only real reason to do so. And that's tempered by the fact that Sodom and Kreator both use harsher vocals as well.
The riffs are easily some of the best and most memorable in modern thrash metal. This band has an amazing ability to play some ridiculously jagged and crushing riffs. The guitar solos are also amazing.
This is easily one of the best albums in modern thrash. It is highly recommended for anyone tired of the bands copycatting the old sound.