Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: Nocturnal Graves - ...From the Bloodlines of Cain

After their break-up in 2010, Nocturnal Graves arose from the dead in 2012 and brought with them a new guitarist and drummer; however the only founding member left at this point is Nuclear Exterminator. For those unaware, this blackened thrash metal group from Australia gained a good portion of underground status during their initial six year domination and traveled through the course of three demo tapes, two compilations, a split album and an EP before landing their initial full-length record Satan's Cross in 2007. Now, resurrected by the unholy legion of Hell's Headbangers, Nocturnal Graves have returned with a vengeance with their direly anticipated second full-length, ...From the Bloodlines of Cain.

Genre: Blackened Thrash Metal
Release Date: November 12th, 2013
  1. Promethean War
  2. Slave Annihilation
  3. The Conqueror's Flame
  4. Ascension Through Lucifer's Might
  5. Through the Devil's Flesh
  6. Iron Command
  7. The Great Advisory
  8. ...From the Bloodlines of Cain
Total Playtime: 33 minutes, 56 seconds







Rating: 8.0/10










After their break-up in 2010, Nocturnal Graves arose from the dead in 2012 and brought with them a new guitarist and drummer; however the only founding member left at this point is Nuclear Exterminator. For those unaware, this blackened thrash metal group from Australia gained a good portion of underground status during their initial six year domination and traveled through the course of three demo tapes, two compilations, a split album and an EP before landing their initial full-length record Satan's Cross in 2007. Now, resurrected by the unholy legion of Hell's Headbangers, Nocturnal Graves have returned with a vengeance with their direly anticipated second full-length, ...From the Bloodlines of Cain.

The content is embellished with a rustic production quality that emits grit and static from the instruments, giving it that slightly raw black metal aura. The album begins with a furious series of strums and drum hits before exploding into one bad ass whammy squealie solo that's backed by quick blast beats; soon the first word is growled, "Satan!", and it can be assured where the material is going from here. "Promethean War" is one of the strongest tracks on the album, it's but one of the eight aggressive apocalyptic soundtracks but it carries some of the absolute best solos; all which throw in tantalizing whammy bar squeals. This is just the start to the descent that the listener will soon embark upon, and what a mesmerizing and promising beginning it is.

Blackened thrash is what we're promised and it's exactly what Nocturnal Graves deliver on ...From the Bloodlines of Cain. Each track is a brutalized onslaught of feverish instruments that rarely take a breather. The guitars deliver everything from ludicrously fast tremolo picking to bursts of catchy fast paced strumming rhythms such as what is heard in "Slave Annihilation", "The Conqueror's Flame" and "Through the Devil's Flesh". There's an admirable mix up of palm muted and clean strummed riffs, as well as a reasonable balance between tremolos, power chords, gallops and other guitar techniques that wedge themselves into every corner of this material with crunchy distortion. The lead guitar is slightly cleaner and lighter in tone to distinguish itself in the midst of the all encompassing chaos, the solos themselves are skillful, immensely enjoyable and without flaw. The solos aren't always found blatantly laid on top of the tracks either, but rather they will sometimes appear under the rhythm guitar or drums or they disappear from one speaker to reappear in the other.


The drummer uses blast beats for the majority of the main drum compositions on the album, however he does add in exceptionally tight and dexterous drum rolls on a whim during the most obscure and unpredictable moments, for instance in "Ascension Through Lucifer's Might", which is filled to maximum capacity with drum fills. He also is advantageous with his ability to follow and accent guitar chord and rhythm changes with hi-hat accents while still ensuring no void is left unfilled with double bass kicks. However, as unrelenting an assault as ...From the Bloodlines of Cain is, it isn't without it's small fill of atmosphere. Rarely will the material allow for some slower tempo riffing, which gives the audience a chance to absorb the madness they've experienced, but also there are a few synthetic elements scattered around; such as the explosion at the beginning of "Iron Command" and the creepy whispers in the title track that are lined by string bends and whammy squeals. Another slight air of atmosphere is the slight reverb echo that surrounds the harsh, growl vocals. This allows the vocals to stand out clearly among the restless instruments and it adds a touch of old black metal to the ceremony.

...From the Bloodlines of Cain is an immensely delectable blackened thrash metal experience that all fans of the genre will enjoy. The relentless, pummeling assault of the instruments is satisfyingly brutal and intense while the lead guitar adds to the joy with excursions of whammy bar solo bliss. There are slight touches of raw black metal added in that give this album the ultimate pièce de résistance that will bring the listener back time and time again. Highly recommended for fans of raw black metal and war black metal, as well as those who like a little bit of thrash with their black.

Digital Download Provided by: Hell's Headbangers Records

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