By Theron Moore

I’m always leery of bands who bill themselves as “Satanic, blackened, death thrash.”  It seems like this has become the new bandwagon for everyone in the extreme metal underground to jump on and quite frankly, it’s hard to pull off regarding originality since there’s so many moving parts involved with this hybrid.  Clocking in at 8 songs in under 40 minutes, Nocturnal Graves do a decent job at making a half way good record.  And 8 songs is about the perfect length for a record of this type.

Let me explain “halfway good record.”  Like I said before, “Satanic, blackened, death thrash,” is the new hot mess in the underground metal scene.  My opinion only.  I have to look at “Titan” in terms of how it holds up compared to the rest of the genre.  It succeeds but it doesn’t excel.  There’s a lot of channeling Slayer, Sodom and Kreator throughout this record which is fine, and each song is distinctly Nocturnal Graves sounding, I just don’t hear anything new and exciting here, and that’s what I’m looking for.  

I guess my big issue is formula, it tends to be predictable and paint by numbers to a certain degree but what saves Nocturnal Graves is their grasp of what this genre is all about, they get it, they understand it, and “Titan” as a whole is a fine headbanging, thrash-a-riff-ic, good time, it’s just nothing special.  The problem is, they’re not discovering new territory, as I said before, rather just revisiting what’s already been done over and over and over again.  The songs are heavy, fast, and full of grindy crunch, I just don’t hear anything that’s going to stand the test of time.  

And don’t get me wrong,  I’m not expecting the next coming of “Reign in Blood” or “Agent Orange,” I just want something that hasn’t been recycled, repackaged, and re-manufactured yet again.   “Titan” is fine for right now, and it’s a good genre type record, but I doubt anyone will remember this disc five years from now.  Certainly not the same way we remember Slayer, Sodom or even Venom for that matter.  

I think Europeans will grasp “Titan” more so than US audiences will, it that vibe to it.  In terms of how “Titan” stands up against other “Satanic, blackened, death thrash” records, it’s good, you’ll get off on it.    I’m sure the middle aged, battle vest brigade will patch this one on, regardless, but I don’t think “Titan” has any kind of longevity attached to it.  It’s good for now but next month is a different story, a new record release, and “Titan” will probably fall between the cracks and be forgotten about.  Check this record out but don’t expect anything new or groundbreaking.  It is what it is. Enjoy it for that.