Despite (or because of) the presence of a couple of past/present writing and playing members of Destroyer 666 I came into this album with zero preconceptions beyond the fact that it would be hard as nails and without compromise. As a band they’ve been kicking around since 2004 and this is their third full length but my first meeting with them.
‘Resistance’ opens things with a thick, cloying production and a doomy, spiralling down riff of black metal and snarling, lip curled vocals. It ploughs an old Darkthrone kinda vibe before picking up a thrashy pace that enters an Aura Noir broad area before sliding into a pitch black doom. Good, hard, biting stuff. ‘Roar Of The Wild’ on the other hand comes out snapping and clawing thrash, the first time you might hear a little of old, pre-Defiance D666 in the tight, savage riffing and vocals. ‘Ecdysis, Shedding Weak Flesh’ adds even more colour to their palate with a heavy dose of ominous atmosphere amongst the savagery, some superb lead breaks and a tiny bit of the old ringing bell to combine a Satanic kind of feel with Unchain The Wolves period D666 and a much more haunted approach. One which of course they utterly rip to shreds with the feral ‘Souls Tribulation’. ‘Silence The Martyrs’ is a crackling, electric song, one of the best here with some spine tingling lead work and a machine gun rhythm. Closer is the title track which is almost sedate by comparison but seething with a black soul and crushing atmosphere.
It’s fair to say that my ‘uncompromising’ preconceptions are confirmed throughout this album. A bit of old Destroyer 666, a sprinkling of Aura Noir, a hint of old Darkthrone and a dense, almost death metal feel to the thrashing riffs and you have Nocturnal Graves. They are a band who even when sliding into one of the more atmospheric moments still keep their teeth at your throat. Combine that with some typically screaming and razor sharp lead forays this is pretty much a triumph of a wolf pack attack.