As you make your way through the new album by Nocturnal Breed, you might get flash after flash of past glories — memory bursts of Nuclear Assault and Accept, of vintage Metallica and Megadeth, of Celtic Frost and Black Sabbath, of Motörhead and Venom, of King Diamond and Iron Maiden. It’s as much a matter of spirit as of sound, the feeling of fire in the blood and steel in the hand, a dedication to metal domination that won’t be diverted or denied. The music rips and rages, and revels.
Of course there’s a difference between trying to clone the music of legendary bands such as those mentioned above and revealing the influences because it’s what you love, because it’s part of your DNA and thus works its way naturally into what you do, without calculation. That’s the feeling of this new record, We Only Came For the Violence, the sixth full-length by this Norwegian speed metal cult in a career that goes back to the mid-’90s. This is a hell-thrasher’s record, but one in which the backbone of thrash is fleshed out in other ways that channel the band-members’ inspirations and interests. The result is a record packed with killer riffs, razor-sharp rhythm-section work, and vocals that send chills down the spine.
It’s also the kind of dynamic experience that gives every song its own character, and we’ve got a prime example of that in the contrast between the first song revealed from the album and the one we’re premiering today.