Five years between albums is a long time but when you've got a hundred other side projects that's just the way shit rolls. And the dudes in Nocturnal Graves are a busy bunch. What with J. (or rather Nuclear Exterminator in this case) releasing an Impious Baptism record earlier this year and Decaylus and L. Wilson putting out a Denouncement Pyre record as well, and Shrapnel has been, well… his other band (Razor of Occam) didn't put anything out this year. But it's obvious there's no slowing down for these guys. And there's no burning out either.
Nocturnal Graves' brand of black thrash has been burning in Victoria, Australia since 2004, with a minor hiatus from 2010 to 2012. Their first full length, Satan's Cross, saw the black of night in 2007. Despite taking three years to write and release it, Nocturnal Graves did an excellent job. It was a nasty, brutish piece of thrash, death and black metal that did the genre justice; much in the vein of what anyone who heard their demos or splits would come to expect, or at least what you could hear in those demos (see: Profanation of Innocence). Despite their limited material Nocturnal Graves are still a force to be reckoned with, and they prove that with …From the Bloodline of Cain.
The first audible lyric to be heard on …From the Bloodline of Cain is “Satan!” and then Nocturnal Graves kicks into high gear. This is an album of unrelenting speed and vitriol. There's hardly a slow moment to be found throughout save for a few breakdowns that barely allow us to catch our breaths. If these guys were sampling some old school Slayer whilst writing this I wouldn't be surprised for a second. Tracks like “Iron Command” and “Promethean War” blaze with fury and thrash your mind.
The writing here has significantly improved over Satan's Cross. …From the Bloodline of Cain has an incredible album flow that never gets boring and remains intense song after song. Running out of steam or starting to sound generic is easy to do when writing fast music but Nocturnal Graves have honed their craft here. “The Conqueror's Flame,” for example, is a song that clocks in at almost five minutes and hardly slows down, and even when it's breaking down the song, it's not really. Not until the last twenty seconds. Shrapnel's leads melt the speakers. His furious approach is incredible and the band's chemistry really shines on this record.
…From the Bloodline of Cain can seem a little atonal at times however. The fantastic speed and blinding fury put behind each song is a showcase of malevolence. This album has bite but sometimes it simply sinks its teeth in deeper rather than ripping a new wound. There just isn't much variation throughout. The song that stands out the most to me is “The Great Adversary.” A fantastic song that feels epic and still thrashes and then excellently falls into the frenzied final track “…From the Bloodline of Cain.” But really, this is hardly a bitch and only something I noticed the more I got to know the album.
Nocturnal Graves have returned in full form and beyond. …From the Bloodline of Cain is easily their best work to date. Their game has been stepped up considerably with incredible writing and some of the best thrash you're likely to hear this year. From the production to the flow, to razor wire riffs, beastial drumming, and vicious vocals this album is killer If you've a taste for Slayer, Impiety, or Deströyer 666 then …From the Bloodline of Cain will not disappoint. Hail Satan, you glorious blackened bastards.