There are a lot of wrong ways to pay tribute to a classic sound. And as we know from its over-saturation about 10 years ago, thrash is no exception. Paradoxically, a legion of neo-thrashers managed to make an inherently fierce and chaos-invoking sound come off as staid and predictable. Luckily for us, there’s a few bands out there who know how to do it right. One of the very best is Germany’s Nocturnal, whose new album Decibel is thrilled to present in its full demonic form.
The critical thing Nocturnal gets right, aside from the picture-perfect production, is the loose and free technique that still fits recognizably into thrash. You don’t know what kind of riff is about to hit you, or what demonic direction the beat will go next. The album rewards your attention with twists and turns that keep you guessing and venturing further into the flames. This places them squarely in the tradition of their countrymen in Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, while clearly owing a great deal to Hell Awaits-era Slayer and Bestial Devastation-era Sepultura — and perhaps a bit to latter-day blasphemers like Aura Noir and Nifelheim. I also can’t help but notice a note of 82′ street-punk in Invoker’s vocal barks. There’s a lot going on, and it’s all good, my friends.
Here’s how the band describes Serpent Death:
“With Serpent Death, we made an album that has elements of everything we did before, combined with some traditional metal here and there. This just happened naturally and wasn’t something really planned. We made an album which we were missing in today’s metal. I‘m proud of every single song because each note comes from the heart. I’m honored I found that gang of maniacs who complete this band now — after facing line-up problems for so long! They live what we do, and share the same love as I for the art that is Teutonic unholy thrash metal! I think you can hear that on Serpent Death!“
The album comes out this Friday via Dying Victims productions. Enjoy it below: