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No Retreat!!!!! - 80%

dismember_marcin, August 30th, 2018

This album is such a fan to listen to. I remember that Nocturnal Breed was getting a lot of negative comments back in the early 00's (because they have members of well-known Norwegian black metal bands – Gehenna and Dimmu Borgir - and because they steal riffs from other bands... bla bla bla bullshit!!!!). For me they were completely incomprehensible. I liked their music and I still do. And the fact that they were taking influences from the old 80's bands was something positive for me, not a reason to dislike their music.

And 20 years after its release, "No Retreat... No Surrender" still is able to defend itself. I love their crazy riffs, a total "fuck off" attitude and insane, old school metalhead feel. It's one of those albums, which you would like to play on a headbanger beer-party. It's also perfect music to listen to when driving and to enjoy some old school thrash / black metal. Yeah, this is one of those albums, which are influenced by the old bands, but they do everything in slightly black metal way. Just like Aura Noir for instance. So, you can hear here Venom, Motorhead, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Kreator, Destruction, Sodom, Twisted Sister, Exumer and whatever else you will think of, but is old enough. Riffage as well as arrangements are all in the vein of these old bands, but very harsh, sloppy and truly aggressive from start to finish. Yet it’s also insanely catchy and memorable (you will scream those choruses, I bet!). And lots of these riffs are just very, very good. With the vicious way of singing (or screaming), the music has a distinctive black metal feel, very evil, satanic and hateful. I love how it sounds, in songs like "Thrash the Redeemer" for instance... Or in the title track, which is just insanely infectious and memorable.

The real highlight for me personally is the last song though, a perfect black metal anthem called “Armageddon Nights”, in the vein of Bathory’s “Under the Sign...” and classic Norwegian black metal records. This song has such a killer dark, epic vibe that I just feel goose-skin when I listen to it. It's just fantastic stuff, killer riffs, the best vocals on the whole album... Nocturnal Breed music is easy, song structures are rather basic, so are their arrangements... but that’s the beauty about this old school, traditional thrash metal, which they play. As I wrote in the beginning – fun stuff to listen to. Band your skull!!!

Standout tracks: "No Retreat... No Surrender", "Thrash the Redeemer", “Armageddon Nights”
Verdict: 80/100

Black Metallers Thrash! - 81%

Metalli_Priest, December 9th, 2003

My my, and don't they thrash well.

Nocturnal Breed are one of many bands from northern europe formed by members from black metal bands. In this case, those bands being Dimmu Borgir, Gehenna and The Kovenant. This was one of the few cds that I have bought having never heard of the band before. I just saw the cover and said; yep, this has to be good. They look totally fucking metal.

Anyhow, onto the music. A simple description of the music for offer on this album is not too far removed from early Sodom and Kreator. Infact, you could probably compare most of the songs here to those on Pleasure to Kill, although it is slightly less deathy. For the most part it is raw, fast germanic styled thrash with some black metal overtones that the members wern't able to shake all the way off. The lyrics are fairly typical of the aformentioned style, that is plenty of songs about war and satan, although half the time, the vocals are incomprehensible, as one might expect from a black metal vocalist. The guitaring is for the most time is great, although, sometimes it becomes slightly sloppy and the riffs themselves lack punch. The drums and bass pretty average, that is, they do what they are supposed to do without going over the top in (both in a positive and negative way). All in all, the four members deliver every song in an enegetic, no bullshit, evil manner. Most of the songs sound the same, but there are a few that stand out for me: the opener 'The Artillery Attack', 'Thrash the Redeemer','Warhorse' has a mad intro that leads into a pumeling, fast verse riff. The title track is also very decent, and my personal favourite: 'Sodomite'.

None of the songs are paricularly bad, however, there is a song that came as a rather large surprise to me: a Twisted Sister cover in the form of 'Under the Blade'. From my description of the band, it would be easy to think that this version of the song is quite removed from the original, and that is pretty much the case. Although it is infinitely more brutal than the original some fifteen years before, it don't loose any of the downright enjoyment, that that version had.

Nocturnal Breed are not about to change the world by creating, original and ground breaking music, but what they do, they do well. Highly enjoyable european thrash. Oh, and I HAVE to see these guys live: naked women and thrash metal... what more could you want?!

One final note: The track listing on the back of the case is missing two songs 'Fists Of Fury' and 'Roadkill Maze'.