I don’t when, but somewhere along the line war metal transformed into bestial metal and began taking over the American black/death scene. The “bestial” sound was a natural progression for a somewhat waning war metal scene. Bestial metal takes the most attractive aspects of war metal (very raw black/death metal); rawness, bad production, simplicity, and heaviness and infuses it with the repetitiveness of early Norwegian black metal. Of course, some of the bands are shit, *cough* Black Witchery *cough*, but Nocturnal Blood manages to add a unique flare and violence to the bestial sound.
After having the chance to witness their live performance at Hell’s Headbash back in September, I knew I wanted to snag their latest release and give it a listen. Luckily for me, being a relatively new fan, Abnormalities Prevail, is a compilation album which gives listeners a nice overview of Nocturnal Blood’s five-year long career. Nocturnal Blood is one of those bands that can easily appeal to a variety of metal fans because of their palatability. Thrash slop soloing is kept to a minimum, the drumming isn’t overly pronounced, and the riffs, while bloodthirsty, are catchy.
Die hard Nocturnal Breed fans will be pleased with this compilation as it includes a number of songs from the band’s celebrated demo, True Spirit of Old, such as Goat Vulva and Temple of Masturbation as well as tracks from their split with Sanguis Imperem. For newer fans, this compilation gives a compelling overview of the band’s unique sound. Although I didn’t find much fault with this record, I could argue that at times the repetitiveness and one trick, raw heaviness can become tiresome, but Nocturnal Breed set up the album is such a way that it doesn’t drag out for long. Tracks like Temple of Masturbation, Violent Crucifixion, and Invocation of Spirit introduce some exciting, head bang inducing riffage and hooking intros.
Other than at times being a tad unmemorable, however, I cannot find much wrong with this album. This is odd coming from a girl who typically avoids the bestial sound and bands from America in general. Despite the fact that this isn’t the long awaited new material fans have been yearning for, I think Nocturnal Blood devotees and newbies alike will be pleased with this release. And if not, go suck a Goat Vulva……just kidding, do whatever you want. But still, listen to Abnormalities Prevail. You shouldn’t be disappointed.