Metal Review – Nocturnal Fear – Excessive Cruelty (2011)

Nocturnal Fear - Excessive CrueltyEvery once in a while, you just need some good thrash to level you out. After a morning filled with doom metal, I decided to shake it up a little and check out a new thrash metal release. I went with Nocturnal Fear’s Excessive Cruelty and was not disappointed. As you would expect from Nocturnal Fear, the theme is war and this U.S. band is not ashamed to spew their pro-US military opinions throughout their music.

From the opening of Murder for Hire, you pretty much know what you are getting into with Excessive Cruelty. You have the classic thrash opening (reminding you of way too many other thrash songs though). I really am getting into Murder for Hire though. It is probably as anthemic as you will ever get from Nocturnal Fear. My biggest issue with the band, as it still is today, is that the vocals are not classic thrash vocals. They are gritty and capable, but do not excel. For my tastes, my thrash metal needs solid vocals. That is what sets bands like Testament apart from bands like Nocturnal Fear.

For your fill of some good thrash licks, you could do much worse than Excessive Cruelty, but it is really your standard run of the mill thrash release that will give you a few listens but not much more than that.

Lineup for NOCTURNAL FEAR’s “Excessive Cruelty”: Reverend Chris Slavehunter PhD:  lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals / Devastator: lead vocals / Witchhammer: drums, keyboards / Warmonger: session bass

Excessive Cruelty Track Listing:
1. Murder for Hire
2. Excessive Cruelty
3. I Am War
4. Absolute Annihilation
5. Rolling Thunder
6. World War 3
7. Intro – Invade to Conquer, Part 1
8. Frozen in Stone
9. Human Shield

Nocturnal Fear


  • Agreed in the comparison between bands. My main point about Testament was that Chuck Billy’s vocals give them that edge over bands like Nocturnal Fear, Sodom, etc. BTW, great list of bands.

  • ricin castor

    i really think that you miss the point with the vocals, this band has zero in common with a band like testament or bay area “thrash”-i think NF has more in common with groups like Sodom, Sarcafago, Dorsal Atlantica, Old Sepultura and more Blackened Thrash than anything else