Nocturnal Graves Titan

Nocturnal Graves Titan
5
For any band, the release of an album of particular quality can be seen as a double-edged sword. With the praise and sense of accomplishment comes an unspoken expectation that the next offering will top it. It would be a challenge of Herculean proportions for any band to top the black thrash lethality of Nocturnal Graves' 2013 album ...From the Bloodline of Cain, but nevertheless it is dismaying that the band's return in Titan pales in comparison.
 
From the get-go, "Resistance" embodies that which plagues nearly all of Titan. The riffs don't carry the same bite, and too often the band seem to dig into midtempo sections that drag on without picking back up again. There are promising moments throughout Titan, reminders of why Nocturnal Graves are true warlords of black-thrash, but these moments are separated by sometimes whole songs, like "Ecdysis, Shedding Weak Flesh," that embody the song's title. Both "And Hell Followed Them" and "Roar of the Wild" shine as a return to chaotic form, but it's not enough to fend off the overcrowding of hollow filler.
 
Nocturnal Graves have put out some of the best blackened thrash one can offer, and perhaps that's what makes Titan all the more disappointing. Much of the album just sounds tired, leaving you wanting more of what this band have proven they are capable of accomplishing. (Season of Mist)