NOCTURNAL BREED, Triumph of the Blasphemer  (2005, Painkiller)

The skull:
Originally released on the Hammerheart label with a non-skull cover, this version is a 10″ on Painkiller. In one of many skull cover motif subsets, here we have the popular skull-mounted-on-upside-down-cross image. This guy has horns, but they’re dwarfed by monstrous incisors that I understand doubled as kebob skewers. The dude was popular at his friends’ backyard barbeques, and is here immortalized on an inverted crucifix made of pork rib bones. Not sure who the blasphemer is, or what he’s triumphant about.

The music:
These kinds of EPs are usually such a scam. One new song, some live songs, and some covers. Nothing you would ever listen to with any regularity. Nocturnal Breed have long been upholding this very dry, direct, no-nonsense death/thrash attack thing, and they’re very good at it, but every single thing I hear by them fails to stick, even if it sounds okay as it breezes by. They pick out a W.A.S.P. song you don’t often see covered (“I’m Alive”) and a Death song you always see covered (“Evil Dead”). Special mention goes to the song title “Screaming for a Leather Bitch.” Yeah! This reissue adds an extra track with a live version of “Maggot Master.” If that’s enough for you to seek out the Painkiller version in addition to your original Hammerheart version, you’re way more diehard than me, pal, and congratulations on being so committed to leather bitches and maggot masters.
— Friar Wagner

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