Over the past decade and a half, Australia’s Nocturnal Graves has kept a visceral quality making them among the finest bands in modern extreme metal. Formed in 2004 by drummer, vocalist, guitarist, and bassist Jarro Raphael A.K.A. (Nuclear Exterminator), who exerted the utmost effort on refining the raw methods of blackened thrash/death metal. “An Outlaw’s Stand” is the band’s fourth album that features guitarists Shrapnel (ex-Destroyed 666) and Decaylust, and vocalist Prain. Delivering outright rampaging across the eight tracks, Nocturnal Graves has gone from strength to strength and with the new album, the Aussie quartet tends to cement vigorous and adequate standards of blackened aggression. Although stylistically they’re somewhat similar to bands like Destroyer 666, Gospel of Horns, and Bestial Warlust, their sound has become more coherent from the early albums like “Satan’s Cross” and “...from the Bloodline of Cain“.
Album opener “Death to Pigs” brings forth all the power and ferocity from the guitar department ticking all the boxes in extremity and violence. The intense drumming of Jarro Raphael is another dominant force on the album. Nocturnal Graves unleash the compelling potency upon the listener, riffs are visceral raw and evil, and they’re enough to drive you into frenzy moments of headbanging. With the blasting percussion and dual guitar attacks whipping furious beats, the songwriting proves the maturity of the band. Musically “An Outlaw’s Stand” is full of raptures and grits. Although seldom you can hear influences from German old-school thrash metal, the band is perhaps known for its frenzy aggression in combining brutal death metal riffs.
“Command For Conflict” begins with a storming burst of blast beats, at the peak of every track the guitars unleash plenty of electrifying solos. Though the formula between the veterans works quite well the pacing of the drums feels more balanced. The guitars convey crucial riffs blasting at frenzied speed, the slow tempo is absolutely full of hooks and shows the talents of the band. From the opening moments, the guitars blaze up in fury unloading catchy guitar solos while the drums pummel hard at furious beats “Ruthless Fight” explodes like a volcanic eruption, and the evil shrieks of Prain spew profane verses of hate and destruction.
Nocturnal Graves blends raw elements from the early wave of black metal, the guitars make excellent use of tremolos and power chords. The majority of the songs on “An Outlaw’s Stand” are seemingly violent, there are various tempos changes that whirls powerful and relentless intensity. Though the album duration spans less than forty minutes the songs are loaded with powerful riffing. For example “Across the Acheron” is one of the tracks where the tremolos swell in torrents. The striking guitars and pounding drums shift into intense headbanging moments of brutal blackened thrash metal. The band maintains a chaotic speed and momentum blending death metal riffs which are amusingly interwoven with the blasting drums.
The sudden fury of the vicious growls would remind many fans of bands like Sadistik Execution “No Mercy For Weakness” offers tight musicianship. Like the previous songs this track has the power to leave a lasting impression on fresh ears. The undeniable precision here makes the fourth album among the band’s best material to date. The guitars combine razor-sharp black metal riffs and despite the tempo changes the drums pick up the pace at full speed with rapid solos showcasing their remarkable aptitude. On other tracks like “Law of the Blade”, guitarists Shrapnel and Decaylust possess extremely powerful riffs and this is to say that Nocturnal Graves has honed a perfect sound on the album.
Nonetheless all frenzy and evil, the robust formula continues to provide strong dynamics and those sharp tremolos fit so well in the overall tone. The remaining songs like “Beyond the Flesh” are straightforward and consistent in terms of delivery. With that being said, Nocturnal Grave‘s newest album caught me by the frenzied pace of the drums and creepy tone of the guitar solos, I never imagined them to be capable of blending the early eighties style of blackened thrash metal with such incredible execution.
The album title track “An Outlaw’s Stand” opens with slow guitar chords, leaving the way for the drums to burst out at a relentless pace. The chaotic riffing evoke the style of the band Portal mixing death metal riffs and evil black metal shrieks. Nocturnal Graves’ newest album is highly recommended for fans of Sadistik Execution, Destroyer 666, and Bestial Warlust, this is some raw fucking piece of evil blackened thrash metal!
Release Date: January 7th, 2022
Label: Season of Mist Underground Activists
- Death to Pigs
- Command For Conflict
- Ruthless Fight
- Across the Acheron
- No Mercy For Weakness
- Law of the Blade
- Beyond the Flesh
- And Outlaw’s Stand