Blackened thrash is one of the best hybrids in extreme metal today and Australia’s Nocturnal Graves are one of the many bands in the current era of the genre do it the best in my humblest opinion. Since their formation started, they’ve been consistent in pouring out amazing and remarkable albums in the underground scene including 2013’s …from the Bloodline of Cain which is still the best record by the band in terms of musicality, craftsmanship, detail and creativeness. Now fast forward to the new year of 2022 we’ve got a new album known as An Outlaw’s Stand which is the fourth full-length recording and is released through Season of Mist Underground Activists.
Stylistically speaking, if you been listening to past Nocturnal Graves albums you’ll know by now that they’re known to create thrashy, blackened and chaotic style of extreme music but with this record is heavily concerned, they’ve added some death metal tendencies in the mix almost like if you were to take Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch and Absu, put it in a blender until well stirred and you easily get Nocturnal Graves. Musically, this is a monstrous and monolithic record that contains brutality, catchy hooks, insane melodies and a production so diabolical sounding you won’t get a album that is apocalyptic, aggravated and commendable like An Outlaw’s Stand.
Now what really drew me on this record in particular is the amount of detail, creativity and uniqueness they’ve ultimately created in borrowing some of their biggest influences on this record with tracks such as Law Of The Blade, Ruthless Fight, Beyond The Flesh and No Mercy For Weakness giving that early Destroyer 666, Slayer, Aura Noir and Gospel Of The Horns sort of soundscapes in which these tracks are as primal, darkened and furious all around in which this case this record really demonstrated the listener to really give the songs a nice consistency where it allows the instrumentals to really shine and deliver a finishing blow to not slow down entirely but keeping the dynamics and presentation making these layers of soundscapes feel right at home comfortably without losing its sense of sound and formula. Even the secondary half of the album does seem to have its welcoming moments but the first half of An Outlaw’s Stand is a great example of how to perform blackened thrash metal the correct way rather doing it the polar opposite. An Outlaw’s Stand is a very intense, barbaric and submerged album that creates menacing displays of blackened thrash with death metal sprinkles that is bowled from the depths of hell.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Jake Butler