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Nocturnal – Serpent Death

nocturnal – serpent death


The German Black/Thrash Metal band Nocturnal, has released well over a dozen of EPS and split releases combined.  When the band does release an actual full length album, thrashers from all over the world seem to pay attention.  While the band has always been busy since their early days of 2003, I did not notice them until their debut full length “Arrival of the Carnivore.”  I remember finding the album at an Engorged show, at a time where I had to buy almost every Death/Thrash release I came across.  With the fantastic cover art by the legendary Kris Verwimp practically leaping off the CD case, purchasing this album was all too easy.  The album really picked up my attention as I would continue to listen to it.  This young and promising band hit everything in all the right places.  The tempo, was fast, yet not bogged down with triggers.  The guitar and drum tone perfectly matched the vocals.  The album felt much longer than it actually was.  The band was not trying to be the next epic thing, they were just trying to Thrash with a touch of Blackened Death.  Mission accomplished.  I would continue to return to the album until I did not, but always remembered it fondly.

I have been out of touch with the band for perhaps the last decade, but continued hearing their name around and seeing their logo mostly on European festivals I have not been able to attend.  With their fourth full length, “Serpent Death,” released about a year ago, I knew I was in for a treat.  I have not heard the many smaller and larger releases the band have been spouting out at a rapid pace, but upon hearing this newest one, I can once say “Mission Accomplished.”  Most of what helped make “Arrival of the Carnivore” special to me was still present.  Similar to their debt full length, this release felt lengthier than the actual 47 minute run time. The music really was able to breathe once again, as the songs continue to mercilessly pummel along.  The lack of blasting was really beneficial to this release.  The sound felt very organic as I could feel the drums pounding in my heart.  The mix is very well done.

For the most part, the album as a whole is very solid, but still improves as the tracks progress.  I found the songs on the second half more memorable than the beginning of the album.  For those wanting to make up their minds to purchase this album or not, I highly recommend listening to “Circle of Thirteen,” to hear the group shred at a slower tempo, and “Void Dweller” to hear the band arguably at their Sodom worshiping best.  “Suppressive Fire” is another outstanding song which features a rather  catchy riff often repeated throughout the six minutes that made me feel as if there were a mosh pit in my skull.  All in all I would recommend this album for whose wanting more Teutonic Thrash Metal in the vein of the greats such as “Infernal Overkill” era  Destruction, Sodom, and the always aggressive Protector. (Old Man Stares)