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Wow, this is wicked, vicious AND violent! - 95%

The_Boss, September 3rd, 2008

Probaby 2007’s best thrash metal album, Fields of Rot is a shameless romp through the blackened plains of Thrashland with plenty of ridiculously fast guitar riffing, shredding that tears through the air like a knife through butter, insane vocals that are so rapid fire and harsh that even Glen Benton would have a hard time deciphering them, and awesome catchy songs that will be stuck in your head for days to come. Nocturnal Breed aren’t exactly a “retro” thrash band, having around a decade of experience, but still playing a style of thrash not found as often as it should. This is maniacal piece of work that surely stfuck me harder than their debut, Aggressor, which didn’t have as much of an affect on me nor did it impress me as much.

Fields of Rot opens up with a ridiculously fast song; Wicked, Vicious, and Violent which pretty much sums up the rest of the album’s sound and idea. It has the catchiest chorus and ridiculously awesome riff-festival of carnage, the chorus will be stuck in your head for days. The thrash on here is wicked with it’s melody and harshness headbutting to become a force to be reckoned with, with sweet leads and intense drumming, vicious with the approach of inhuman blackened vocals that are truly unmeasureable in Thrashland, being some of the most insane and unbelieveable vocals I’ve ever heard. Oh yeah, it’s violent. Thrash like this is unfortunately rare, having a “fuck you” attitude and a brutality factor without being “brootal”. It’s a simple equation really, Destroyer (vocalist) is an amazing vocalist and bass player, seriously I’ve already gone over his vocals and the bass is pounding and booming, listen to Invasion of the Body-Thrashers and try and hold yourself together while the bass rumbles your fucking guts. Add the AE Rattlehead and Ben Hellion, two wild and insanely talented guitar players that know how to play their instrument. Yeah I say that a lot, “Guitarist X and guitarist Y are very talented they can play this blah blah…” but these guys stand out with some amazing guitar solos, pretty much every solo on here is as insane as the next, the title track sticks out with some leads that bring up your chicken sandwich you just ate and brings it all up over the floor. The drumming as well should be multiplied to the equation heightening the intensity and bringing up the levels of heaviness more than you’d imagine, the double bass added with the bass guitar makes for some intense listening.

Songs on here are very catchy, all memorable and highly worthy of singing along to if you can catch the choruses and such. As I’ve mentioned, the vocalist sticks out more than most in thrash metal bands with inhuman shrieks and a hyper fast delivery as if Satan himself gave his vocal chords and allowed Destroyer to use them for this record, ripping and shredding his vocal chords. The title track with the hyper fast rifle riffing sticks out with a catchy chorus is and wicked solo. About 19 seconds into Too Damned To Conquer, a riff… a mighty as fuck riff… opens up and commands you to headbang. It’s like the Jessica Alba of heavy metal riffs, meaning you’d have sex with Jessica Alba if you had the chance and when you hear this song, you headbang. It’s like a driving force, if you were to see Jessica Alba lying on your bed naked you would have no choice but to just do it and when this song is playing you have no choice but to headbang. It’s that mighty and heavy, so worthy of breaking your neck to or catching herpes whatever. Invasion of the Body-Thrashers follows the tradition of having a insanely catchy chorus and more awesome riffing and solos and compares with Iron Bitch with unmistaken attitude and heaviness. Destroyer on Iron Bitch compels Lemmy Kilmister himself up and steals his badass vocal attitude and does a great job on this song.

Fields of Rot is an excellent slab of thrash metal from 2007 that would perfectly fit in with the mid-80’s next to Agent Orange, Pleasure to Kill and Infernal Overkill. It’s really summed up with the opening song, being wicked, vicious, and violent music that is perfect for headbanging, fist pumping, Alba fucking, driving, and reminiscing of the 80’s.I can't really find many problems with this release, there aren't any weak songs, no filler and have such an excellent attitude towards metal and a sweet image. Nocturnal Breed are going to get famous for this album if they haven’t already, it’s a great album and recommended to every leatherhead thrasher and denimclad headbanger. Excellent thrash that’s, well… wicked, vicious, and violent!

Absolutely fucking intense - 92%

BastardHead, February 17th, 2008

Holy colon, right from the get go, you get torn apart. The opening riff from these Norwegian blackened thrashers' fourth full length, Fields of Rot, completely takes the form of the track... Wicked, Vicious, and Violent.

What draws people to Nocturnal Breed? Is it the strippers that they use on stage? For some, maybe. For me, it was the completely destructive thrash riffage under the unrelenting black metal vocals. I cannot recall exactly how I discovered this band, but I can tell you that I am really glad I did. Fields of Rot and No Retreat... No Surrender are the only two records I have, but they are both highly recommended to metalheads of all shapes and sizes. Destroyer, despite the predictably stupid pseudonym, is a wonderful black metal vocalist, and strangely works extremely well over the raw thrash of the music.

This will be one of the shorter reviews I will write, purely because you can't really do a super detailed analysis of a record like Fields of Rot. The whole album is chock full of balls out thrashing intensity that rivals most anything to come out of the year 2007. I may place this in the top 10 of the year actually.... in fact it is almost certain. It is a shame that this band is as obscure as they are, because they really do deserve a large fanbase. This is a nearly perfect aural assault, no matter how you look at it, with the only shortcomings being the somewhat slow progression of In Sickness and in Hell and the lack of variety. Well... the latter statement isn't completely true, but cause the aforementioned track is a bit slower and more grinding (not in a bad way) than the rest. There is also the superb throwback to the days of Motorhead with the track Iron Bitch. So it is somewhat varied, but some of the tracks do seem to run together if you aren't paying really close attention. This does not mean that the album ever gets stale, it is completely destructive and relentless throughout the duration of the record.

Not much is really left to say except that this is one of the more intense thrash records of this decade. Choice cuts include the opener, Wicked, Vicious, and Violent, Code of Conduct, Iron Bitch, Scything Harrow, and Too Damned to Conquer, although you really can't go wrong with any song here. I'm getting a little tired of giving out consistently good scores here, but there is no denying that this record deserves it's A-. Maybe if they find a way to make the songs more distinguishable next time around, they will be even better. But what we have here is damn near perfect black/thrash, so pick it up if you can.

About as awesome as the cover art, no lies. - 91%

SouthofHeaven11, December 1st, 2007

Straight to the point, Nocturnal Breed’s “Fields of Rot” is one hell of a jaw-busting album. Released just at the right time when modern thrash needed a fresh sound, “Fields of Rot” truly brings thrash back to its new wave of British heavy metal and punk roots. Emerging from Norway, Nocturnal Breed has been getting praise lately for their “blackened thrash” approach, which really is just a strong nod towards old Sodom and Kreator. But “Fields of Rot” is just so much more than your normal thrash affair, and plays second to none to any of the newly formed retro-thrash bands.

Thrash is the name of the game here, and Nocturnal Breed does more than just excel at it. Ben Hellion and A.E. Rattlehead team up to deliver hard-hitting thrash riffs dipped in punk and throw in N.W.O.B.H.M. melodies and leads to seal the package. When “Wicked, Vicious, and Violent” comes roaring on, it’s not hard to hear the two straining their fingers as they rip away at their fret boards, only to be matched by Destroyer’s dog-like snarl, which is where their black metal influences pop in. The title track, “Code of Conduct”, “Too Damned to Conquer”, and the chugger “The Dead” follow the book on how to write thrash, with locked palm mute riffs and blazing solos, while variation shows it face with the twisted “Manskinner” and the tension builder “In Sickness and Hell”, which has Destroyer promptly telling the audience that they have “a dawn appointment with the gallows”.

As an album, “Fields of Rot” produces simply because of one thing that thrash has lacked in almost every case: variety. Hellion and Rattlehead constantly churn out riff after riff, each one sounding different than the last. “Iron Bitch”, besides having a ridiculously awesome name, is a straight Motorhead throwback. It’s got such an 80’s grit-rock vibe to it from the heavily sleazy riffs, and Destroyer puts out his best vocal performance, sounding like he’s just downed two packs of smokes and a bottle of whiskey as he tells the tale of a complete bitch of a woman. “Invasion of the Body Thrashers” takes a bit of a light-hearted approach, even breaking for a second with an almost Western lead part. Makes sense that a part like that would appear, really, if you were to see one of their band pictures which depicts the boys in front of a car with a longhorn skull on the bumper.

In the sense of actual talent, it should be noted that Destroyer is one of the best vocalists that modern metal has to offer. Seriously, he is insane. He changes his range constantly, and you never know what technique he is going to use next. He could be doing death grunts one moment, and then suddenly switch to a speed-talk, high-pitched shrieks, or sound like Lemmy from Motorhead. Mix that in with his unusual lyrics (“Callous and heartless, inflictress of pain, as in the heart of every devil there’s vain!” – “Scything Harrow”), and you’ve got a winner. All the while doing the vocals, he’s also providing the bass parts, which do add an good “punch” to the tone, as well as branching off at points such as on “The Dead”.

Nocturnal Breed’s “Fields of Rot” deserves the attention of metal followers across the globe. It’s fast, relentless, and catchy as hell. Tracks like “Wicked, Vicious, and Violent” and “Too Damned to Conquer” will please any thrash junkies’ craving, while “Invasion of the Body Thrashers” and “Iron Bitch” have the potential to reach out and grab hold of those not accustom to thrash. As far as modern thrash goes, Nocturnal Breed produces, simply put, one of the best albums available. Put it in your stereo and blast those speakers, you won’t regret it.

Overall - 91

Recommended Tracks:
Wicked, Vicious, and Violent
Too Damned to Conquer
Invasion of the Body Thrashers
Iron Bitch

Total thrashing insanity! - 95%

Empyreal, November 14th, 2007

Holy fucking shit, this maniacal piece of work has destroyed my house, defecated on my car, and torn me a new asshole! Nocturnal Breed play a very fast style of thrash metal with vocals that fall into the more "black" side of things - except Kenneth Svartalv is far better than most black metal vocalists; more on that later - and this is their fourth full length album, and it completely smokes. I had never even heard the band before they were recommended to me on an internet forum, and I'm very glad I checked them out now.

The production is polished, yet still lethal and crunchy as fuck, not sounding overproduced or boring at all. The guitars here are thrashy and, most importantly, they're fast. There's no trendiness to be found here; no groove or nu metal, just a collection of hellishly headbangable thrashy black metal played at about twice the normal pace. The band doesn't let up here, either, spending 45 minutes doing nothing but kicking your ass in 10 different ways, and loving every deliciously juicy second of it. The riffs are sharp, concise and throat-ripping and the solos rip by you with an intensity hot enough to melt your face off. The tone might not sound like it was produced in a basement, but the riffs here will get your head to bang. If they don't, then I suggest you stop listening to metal altogether. The vocals are handled by one Kenneth Svartalv, or "Destroyer" as he calls himself, and while he may have a cliche pseudonym, he lets loose some of the best extreme screeches and yowls ever laid to disc. Seriously, fuck your frog croaking and your Cookie Monster gurgling, this guy is a lot of the reason that Fields of Rot is so damn cool. He literally sounds like he's got a mouthful of rusty nails, and while such a comparison might fall on deaf ears to those without a taste for this kind of thing, the band would not work so well without him behind the mic.

I'm completely impressed by this. There are no weak songs here. It doesn't try to be anything it isn't, it's short and to the point, not wasting your time with useless interludes and movie soundclips and whatever else shitty bands are loading their discs with these days; it just thrashes your face off. I hope the rest of the band's albums are this good, because this album is damned good, and probably one of the best of 2007. You want a standout track? Read the tracklist, and then get the fuck out of my face and go get this album.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com