I was pretty psyched out to check out this band's material after seeing the blatant '80's-Sodom-worship on their site. But I was cautious: I had a friend send me a dubbed tape of their full length debut, since I'd been disappointed by so many bands waving the banner of Sodom in the past. My friend actually sent me both Nocturnal Fear's Sterilize and Exterminate full length AND their Pagan Rites demo on one cassette, which of course made a highly facile Walkman listening experience.
Well, after finding myself listening to the material repeatedly (TRYING to like it more, anyone else ever experience that phenomenon?), I can't write a particularly enthusiastic review. "Sterilize and Exterminate" isn't really even Thrash; it's more like very early '80's Death Metal; specifically the brand that was put out on the Relapse label during that period. Both the vocals and music sound one hell of alot like material off of Deceased's Thirteen Frightened Souls release. That isn't an especially bad thing, but let's face it, Thirteen Frightened Souls isn't exactly a Classic bit of Death Metal.
If one actually chose to emulate a band very closely, Deceased wouldn't be even in my personal top hundred; nevermind the fact that Thirteen.. wasn't even Deceased's best album (certainly Fearless undead Machines topped that by a mile).
This band is very tight musically; once I got past being turned off by the obvious King Fowley worshipping vocals, I could "find" things I liked about this full length. But that's just the problem: I had to "find" those things.
The demo, "Pagan Rites" is very good, perhaps because it's briefer. I would reccomend that demo before I vouched for any full length by Nocturnal Fear.
Bottom line: forget any real substitution for Sodom here (like THAT'S EVER going to happen. Perchance to dream...). But Nocturnal Fear's Sterilize and Exterminate is still a good listen, and just fine for anyone that is a fan of old Deceased, or well played Death Metal in general. Just don't make the mistake (as I did) of getting too excited before checking it out. You've heard it, BETTER, before.
1. Holocaust the Heretic
2. Temple of the Crucified
3. Sterilize and Exterminate
4. Unholy Throne of Blasphemy
6. Pagan Rites
7. Burning in the Void
8. Can't Undo the Damage Done
9. Outbreak of Evil (Sodom Cover)