• 6.5/10
    NATIONAL NAPALM SYNDICATE - Devolution Of Species - 6.5/10


Violent Journey Records
Release date: April 22, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

If this band produces Thrash Metal then something has truly changed on how Thrash Metal is being perceived. Here you have a raw, rough or even dirty version of Heavy Metal with reminders of Thrash Metal elements like the speedy sections. The band’s riffs are based on Slayer and Black Sabbath and they add up to grooves of bass that will make you think of Motorhead. Therefore, to call this a Thrash Metal oriented release is all up to you. Since 1989, these Finnish guys have been rumbling the worldwide Metal scene, yet after two years they went cold. 2003 was the year when the group decided to reactivate and to try and catch up all those years that were lost. Devolution Of Species is the band’s current release for 2009, three years after their second album, Resurrection Of The Wicked.

On this particular production, National Napalm Syndicate (NNS) became dirtier than ever. However, parts of this dirtiness issue are the results of bad production. All through the album, you can hear a pack load of gain used on almost every instrument. Even the vocals have a high gain rate and that is the reason why in a song like the opener, “Aching Hunger” , and more examples like it , sound as if all hell broke loose in terms of sound mastering and mixing (and that’s not a good thing). Moreover, it seems that the producer used too much treble in the recordings and they sound a bit distant in a sort of a sawmill way. These types of problems occasionally cause annoyances for the listener, although as said earlier, NNS made several nice efforts on this release that will not cause the listener to give up on them. So don’t give up on them yet.

Turning to details which are more positive than the earlier comments, Devolution Of Species, has various creations that truly show the band’s obscurity. This sort of obscurity and diverse changes of musical writing styles will turn this small journey into an unexpected universe.

National Napalm Syndicate come through with many influences under their belt, some of them you’ll recognize faster than others and some will strike you instantly while listening to the songs themselves. Here are some examples: “Die My Darling” has a total Heavy / Thrash feeling, yet the song itself is like hearing Sister Of Mercy with loud guitars and with a tougher attitude. Along with, “Burden Of Truth” and “Fist In The Air”, both sound like old Slayer memories of their 80’s glory era with the unholy vocal blend of Matt Barlow & Warrel Dane. “Funeral Pyre” has a Melodic Black Metal feel mixed with Thrash / Heavy. This type of blend is something that you won’t come upon too often in Metal. Finally, there is “According To You” which turns up the heat with a total Motorhead overkill joined by a marginal Venom aura. All these songs indicate how wacky this band’s style is and how they make use of it in the album.

So if you are looking for pure Thrash Metal, this album is not the perfect place to look for it, yet you should check this one out, it’s still worth a listen. In addition, the band presents a rare cover of a Black Sabbath tune from the Dio era, “The Mob Rules”. The performance is almost exact to the original yet with various additions.

Highlights: “Funeral Pyre” , “According To You” , “Bite The Bullet” , “Aching Hunger” , “The Mob Rules”.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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