Nocturnal Fear
Metal of Honor

It never fails. Every year when I put my year end list together and get it posted, an album comes along within days that knocks my socks off and could have easily made my top 10. Metal of Honor, the fourth full length from Detroit’s Nocturnal Fear is that album this year.

You know something really awesome or really crappy is about to erupt from your speakers when an album opens with samples from the Rambo movies. Thankfully and much to my delight, when the music kicked in nearly two minutes later, I was laid out and left reeling from a blitzkrieg of Sodom-esque thrash riffs and pulverizing drums – my jaw may have hit the floor, I don’t really remember as it’s kind of a blur now.

Nocturnal Fear make no bones about their Sodom/German thrash worship either; lyrically, they take cues from the Germans by way of all war themed topics; vocally, session vocalist Doomy G. Blackthrash of area thrashers Sauron provides that trademarked, raspy and blackened style; musically, it’s written all over the place, also bringing to mind other German stalwarts Kreator and Destruction; even the album art depicting a gas masked, assault rifle toting soldier recalls several Sodom albums.

Metal of Honor provides little respite through it’s ten tracks – the only break given is found in “Reign of Terror”, a track that opens with another movie sample that I can not place before diving into a short and slightly slower instrumental piece that acts as more of an intro into album highlight “The Enigma of Steel”. Occasionally, such as on “The Enigma of Steel” or “Nuclear Deathstrike”, they lock into a short burst of high speed thrash groove – don’t let this deter you, as I’m not referencing something like Pantera – where they couple a simple chugging riff with rapid fire double bass to create an undeniable and crushingly heavy groove. Other than this, the album is akin to a mac track barreling full bore through your skull. There’s no room for such trivialities as diversity or variation because the rampaging thrash attack is top priority.

You’ve heard this before – it’s nothing new. But there should be little debate that Nocturnal Fear do it just as well as anyone before them, including Sodom. Metal of Honor is 50+ minutes of ripping, neck snapping, warp speed thrash metal in the Teutonic mold to make it one of 2009’s most devastating thrash albums. Go listen, now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 25th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Doomy G. Blackthrash.

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