Thursday, 13 March 2014

Extreme Thursday: Nocturnal

Only three things are certain in life; death, taxes and Thursday. In an effort to make that last one more bearable, we're featuring a band who are very, very difficult to find. If you search for their name on Metal Archives, you'll get no less than 123 different bands bearing the same moniker. If you try and find out much of anything about them, you'll draw a blank. And yet, they are somehow well known amongst the German thrash underground, and even got a mention on this very blog not a month ago. That band ... is Nocturnal.
Adding to the mystery that is Nocturnal, the band go by pseudonyms and have very little in the way of an online presence. There is a Facebook page that is kept up to date, but the band's website is offline, the MySpace page has hardly anything on it, and I'll be honest, I'm only guessing that the photograph at the top of this post is even them.

Started by Avenger way back in around 2000, the band have been insanely productive despite producing very few full length albums on general release. With a total of 2 singles, 5 EPs, 7 splits, 3 compilations and even a DVD and live album thrown in there, there is a lot of Nocturnal about.

After  a few demos, the band's first album arrived. Arrival Of The Carnivore featured Avenger, along with Mayhem, Vomitor and Hellbastard. It was hailed immediately as a critical success, and was released in several different forms, including a special edition LP and, in 2008, an LP picture disk rerelease.

The next four years were ridiculously busy, with the vast majority of the splits, singles and EPs the band have produced being put out in support of Arrival Of The Carnivore. Unfortunately for Mayhem, the band had a reshuffle without him in it. This led to the arrival in late 2008 of Tyrannizer, the new vocalist and Nocturnal's first (and to date, only) female member.

Prior to joining Nocturnal, Tyrannizer had been known as Goat Throat and provided vocals for UK band Necrosadistic Goat Torture, a band replete with goat related pseudonyms. I had opportunity to see Tyrannizer in this former role at Bloodstock Open Air in 2008, but sadly only saw about half a song at the end of the set due to some confusion with set times. A shame indeed!

But enough of them for now. Joining Nocturnal to provide both vocals and lyrics, Tyranizzer took the band in a slight, but still significant new direction. The lyrical themes continued as they always had; evil, satan, metal, and evil. And metal. And satan. But then, also other things; atomic warfare, armageddon, war and misery. Staples of death metal, in fact, adding a new arrow to Nocturnal's bow.

The first album featuring Tyrannizer's talents was the 2009 full length Violent Revenge. Featuring much the same lineup as Arrival Of The Carnivore, the band have gone on record saying it was the improvement they wanted to make over their debut. The fans seemed to agree. No second-album syndrome here.

In the last few years the band have become more active on the internet. Closing their website and moving all activity to Facebook left them able to communicate with current fans, rather than having a website acting as an archive of old information. This is one of the main reasons it's so hard to find anything about them beyond the discography and pseudonymous band members.

A couple of weeks ago Nocturnal released their third album, Storming Evil. Using a massive Facebook launch campaign to gain interest, they are now touring heavily and taking several other bands with them. Rising Demons is the first single from the album, and the first with a proper video, as far as I can see.

Continuing in much the same vein as previous releases, the band have avoided the modern plague of overproduction. The album marks a distinct progression in the band's sound, and judging by their 7,254 Facebook followers, it's going down pretty well.

Referring back a moment, then, to Tyranizzer's past life as Goat Throat. Necrosadistic Goat Torture didn't produce a vast amount of material during her short time with the band, but there are some videos out there to demonstrate what they were all about. Enjoy.

Website (for what it's worth!)