Nocturnal from Mainz, Germany are one of the most thrilling bands around in blackened thrash these days. “Violent Revenge” was their sophomore album, first released in 2009, four years after their debut had come out, and therefore had been eagerly anticipated by fans and reviewers alike. Don't get me wrong here, Nocturnal have never been a lazy bunch. In the years between their first album “Arrival of the Carnivore” and the second strike “Violent Revenge”, they released a row of splits and EPs - and what else did they do? Guitarrist Daniel remembers: “We played live shows and we kicked out our former vocalist Mayhem for various reasons. We had Reaper from Old as singer for about a year and when he left again, we found Tyrannizer as a permanent member.” Tyrannizer still is the singer in Nocturnal to this day and her voice is the vocal incarnation of Nocturnal's unholy thrash: She truly breathes fire and brimstone in each of the ten songs on “Violent Revenge”. But what did the singer change mean for the band at first? “Well... People did not really know how to handle the change... We got really mixed reactions, also because the vocal production on Violent Revenge wasn't very good. But that had nothing to do with Tyrannizer's quality as a vocalist.” On “Violent Revenge” Nocturnal did stick with their trademarks: pure old school black/thrash blend. Nevertheless, some things were different on this album, as Guitarist Daniel explains: “On 'Violent Revenge' tried to write songs that were more influenced by Razor than by Destruction. But apart from that, there were no bigger changes made.”
Back then, Nocturnal were not very lucky with how the release was being handled: “'Violent Revenge' was first released by Displeased Records. Our first label From Beyond had ceased to exist in the meantime, but we still had a contract for a second album with them. Kneel Before the Master´s Throne Records handled the vinyl edition. There was absolutely no promotion done for the album. So there were no press reactions that I know of... On the side of the fans it was a double-edged sword... Those who discovered us with that album loved it... Those who had known us since 'Arrival of The Carnivore' or earlier where not much into it... the singer change had a lot to do with it I guess...”
Asked to shortly sum up his own opinion on “Violent Revenge”, Daniel gives a bit of a mixed answer: “In my opinion the songs are just as great as the ones on Arrival ... but the production leaves a lot to be desired.” Is that so? Back then one could read about “Violent Revenge” that “this album has a sound meant for vinyl”! And if we take a look at the songs, there can be no two opinions: The opener “Hellhunt” sets off with killer riffing and Tyrannizer's spine splintering scream before it turns into an aggressive riff orgy in the vein of the most important names in 80's thrash. Next comes “Atomic Warfare” with its deceptively slow, crushing beginning, which then breaks out into a truly unholy riff-hell. The rest of the album is no less convincing: Just take the galloping “Disgracer” or the brilliantly brutal “Slaughter Command”. Which songs are Daniel's own favourite tracks? “My fave tracks are 'Beast of Hades', 'Hellhunt', and 'Slaughter Command'...”
For the re-release on High Roller Records, authenticity is key – the cover artwork has been slightly made over, but apart from that, no changes have been made. This album is so rough and totally unpolished that it could well have been spawned in the late Eighties; only Tyrannizer's raspy blackened vocals remind us that Nocturnal are not a nostalgic memory from the past, but very alive and kicking! Is there anything left to say about “Violent Revenge “? “No...that´s alll!” Yeah, enough said. UNHOLY THRASH METAL forever!